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Underemployed struggle to find work in Nevada

New study finds state hardest place to find work
Posted at 10:20 AM, Aug 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-11 02:40:33-04
In a study released by 24/7 Wall St., Nevada was found to be the hardest state in the country to find full-time work.
The state has an underemployment rate of 13.1 percent. The percentage accounts for involuntarily part-time employed workers who could only find part-time jobs but wanted full-time work.
Like so many other people who live in the valley, Harlen Foster is underemployed.

Foster is a professional test driver. It's a good gig, but it's only part time. He doesn’t get enough hours.
"You're looking at 24," Foster said. "It's very tough."
Foster is working, but he's looking for a second job.

"I thought it would be a lot easier than it is," he said.


Right now, life is a financial struggle for Foster.

"It's really tough to make ends meet," Foster said.

Several factors contribute to Nevada's underemployment rate. The state was one of the hardest hit by the housing crisis. Plus, more than 26 percent of Nevada workers are employed in the arts, entertainment, accommodation, and food services sector, the highest percentage of any state. These industries have higher part-time employment rates than other professions.

Noimot Murray has been unemployed but trying to find work for the past two months.
"It makes you down, kind of. It demoralizes you -- it depresses you," she said. "It's almost impossible."
Murray worries what will happen if she doesn't land a job and can't pay the rent.

"I'm going to be in serious trouble. I don't know. I'm just confused really," she said.

South Dakota was named the number one choice for job seekers with an underemployment rate of 5 percent.
The following are the most difficult states to find full-time work:
  1. Nevada
  2. New Mexico
  3. Alaska
  4. California
  5. West Virginia
  6. Arizona
  7. Mississippi
  8. Oregon
  9. Connecticut
  10. Illinois
24/7 Wall St. created their list based on underemployment rates as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other factors included median annual wages, employment, unemployment, and the size of the labor force from 2005 through 2015. 
Click here to read the full study.