Secrets of the Job Hunt


Monday, May 12, 2008

Reno's Jobless Rate Remains Competitive

Although unemployment in Nevada rose in March from 5.7 percent to 5.8 percent, Reno’s jobless rate remained steady but still higher than the state and national average. Approximately 14,500 residents were without work, which is 6.2 percent of the populace. Being unemployed in the area can be particularly difficult considering that a recent report found that housing in the area doesn’t offer much in the area of affordability.

According to the study conducted by Colorado College, a single individual with a minimum wage Reno job would have to work around 120 hours a week to afford what is considered a fair-market rent in the area. The report found that only about 21.2 percent of the homes in the area are in the price range that those with the city’s median income can afford. Still, this is better than Las Vegas, where only 18.9 percent of homes are found to be affordable for those who receive an average salary.

Charles Horsey, the administrator of the Nevada Housing Division, believes that the results of the report are slightly off due to the fact that data from the beginning of the downward turn in the housing market was used. He says that “with the steep downturn in housing prices, there is a much greater stock of homes in the affordable range now than there have been prior to that."

With the economy suffering, tourism and casino jobs in Reno may soon be more difficult to find. A recent report by the Gaming Control Board on casino earning found that clubs in Reno were down by 3.9 percent. Control Board analyst Frank Streshley says that this is a direct result of economic woes. “It goes back to a soft economy,” he says. “People are tighter with their money and their spending.”

Casino profits don’t only effect those who hold Reno jobs in tourism; they also effect the local government. The lack of spending has resulted in a deficit in taxes collected on gambling, which has area officials considering more budget cuts.

Previous budget cuts have required the government to cut funding for projects. According to Andrew Clinger, the state’s budget director, if Nevada has to tighten its belt any more, then Reno jobs provided by the government sector will be subject to layoffs. The possible decrease in staffing numbers is expected to be spread throughout the state in hopes of balancing the budget.

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