Nevada jobless rate ticks down to 6-year low

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada's unemployment rate ticked down last month to its lowest level in six years, helped by rebounds in the construction and business services industries, state officials said.

The Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported Friday that Nevada's jobless rate hit 7.6 percent in August, down 2.2 percentage points from last August and one-tenth of a percentage point from July.

"I am pleased to see the continued improvement in Nevada's labor market," Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a statement. "While this news is encouraging, we know there remains much work to be done by way of economic development and ensuring that current small businesses can grow and expand to put more Nevadans back to work."

Construction employment led the growth, adding 7,200 jobs since last August for a 12.8 percent gain. Professional and business services grew second fastest, adding 10,200 jobs year-over-year for a 6.8 percent gain.

State economist Bill Anderson noted the state has seen year-over-year job growth in each of the past 44 months, and said the unemployment rate is nearly half what it was during its recession peak.

The state also released unemployment rates for Nevada' major metropolitan areas, but those rates are not seasonally adjusted and therefore are not directly comparable to the statewide rate.

Las Vegas' jobless rate fell 0.5 percentage points to 7.7 percent in August. The rate in the Reno-Sparks area fell 0.4 percentage points to 6.9 percent, while Carson City's unemployment rate declined by 0.4 percentage points to 7.5 percent.

Nevada's unemployment rate remains among the worst in the nation, but the state is no longer in last place. Nevada tied with the District of Columbia for the 47th place.

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