State Unemployment Rate Drops - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

State Unemployment Rate Drops

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The state unemployment rate dropped to 9.6 percent in February. That is compared to 11.8 percent unemployment the same month in 2012. This is the lowest it has been since December of 2008.

In Reno/Sparks and Las Vegas both saw a year-over-year decrease of more that two percentage points. Reno/Sparks sits 10.1 percent, which is down from 10.5 the previous month, and Las Vegas is at 10.7 percent, down from 11.2 percent.

Carson City saw 1.9 percent decrease year-over-year. It sits at 10.7 percent, which is down from 11.2 percent in January.

Elko also saw a decrease from six percent to 5.8 percent.

Governor Brian Sandoval says he is pleased with the overall direction of the state's economy, "Unemployment is trending down, jobs are moving in a positive direction and for the first time in more than a decade, women account for almost 46% of the total labor force." Sandoval said. "Many Nevadans, however, are still feeling the pain of our protracted recession and with 132,000 citizens among the unemployed, much work remains to be done."

Nevada Senator Harry Reid issued the following statement after Nevada's unemployment rate fell to 9.6 percent in February:

"Nevadans are continuing to find jobs, but far too many are still searching for work. Today's news is encouraging and we can continue this trend by creating new opportunities for middle class families and for small businesses to thrive.  That means, among other things, making smart, job-creating investments, while working hard to eliminate waste and stabilize the deficit.  Democrats and Republicans need to work together cooperatively to make that happen."

Unemployment rates fell in 22 U.S. states in February from January, a sign that hiring gains are benefiting many parts of the country.

The Labor Department says unemployment rates rose in 12 states and were unchanged in 16.

Nationally, unemployment slid to a four-year low of 7.7 percent in February, down from 7.9 percent in January. Since November, employers have added an average of 200,000 jobs a month, nearly double the average from last spring.

States hit hardest during the recession are showing improvement.

Florida's unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent in February, down from 9 percent a year earlier. Nevada's rate, while tied with California and Mississippi for the highest among states at 9.6 percent, is down from 11.8 percent a year ago.

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