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

State Unemployment Rate Drops in February

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Information from Nevada's Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

Nevada's unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent in February, which equates to 116,600 people who are jobless. The rate declined 0.2 of a percentage point from January to February and 0.5 of a percentage point since December, said Bill Anderson, chief economist for Nevada's Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR).

Carson City had the highest unemployment rate among the state's three metro areas in February at 9.9 percent. Las Vegas had the lowest jobless rate at 8.6 percent. The unemployment rate recorded in the Reno/Sparks area was 8.8 percent. Unadjusted sub-state unemployment rates all fell over-the-year, with the largest decline occurring in Reno/Sparks (-2.0 percentage points). Las Vegas nearly matched that fall with a drop of 1.9 percentage points, and Carson City's decline was 1.5 percentage points. The sub-state unemployment rates are not adjusted for seasonality, so a direct comparison to the statewide adjusted unemployment rate is not valid. For reference, the statewide unadjusted rate was 8.7 percent, down from 10.5 percent a year ago.

"It is encouraging to see the continued improvement in our economy," said Governor Brian Sandoval. "Nevada has now experienced 38 consecutive months of job growth, and the unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since October 2008. While the news continues to be positive, too many in our state remain out of work. We must continue our focus on job creation until every Nevadan who wants a job has one."

Anderson said last month, Nevada's 3.4 percent year-over-year growth rate led the nation; this month the state's annualized growth rate is 3.6 percent.

Anderson added of particular interest are statistics concerning part- and full-time employment. He noted that 88 percent of employment gains over the past year have been in full-time positions, with part-time employment accounting for 12 percent of recent gains.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (9.4 percent), whites (8.6 percent), and Hispanics (10.8 percent) showed declines of at least two percentage points over-the-year in February based on a 12 month moving average (12mma). The jobless rates for blacks (15.5 percent) and females (9.8 percent) were nearly unchanged over-the-year. In January 2014, the unemployment rate for males dropped below that for females for the first time since late-2008.

"This month's report suggests that Nevada continues to show progress in recovery from the recession," Anderson said. "Employers are continuing to add jobs and consumer confidence continues to show improvement. All and all, the state is moving in a positive direction."

Information from Nevada's Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) issued the following statement regarding the Nevada unemployment figures released earlier today:
"Yet another decline in the state's unemployment rate is a welcome pattern that I hope to see continue until every Nevadan has secured employment. In the meantime, Washington must turn towards policies that foster job growth and make it easier for businesses to succeed.
"Still, many Nevadans are struggling, and Congress must not turn its back on those who are looking for work but simply unable to secure a job. This week, the Senate overcame a procedural hurdle and is now one step closer to passing legislation that Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and I introduced to extend unemployment insurance benefits for five months.  There is still much work to be done before this bill becomes law, but Congress must move quickly in order to provide thousands of Nevadans with some relief."

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