Nevada unemployment rate drops below 7 percent

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada's unemployment rate dipped below 7 percent for the first time since mid-2008, and improved year-over-year for the 46th straight month in November.

The Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported Friday that Nevada's jobless rate dropped to 6.9 percent in November, down from 7.1 percent the month before.

"This is tremendous news for the state of Nevada," Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a statement. "This news is a direct reflection on the strong, solid growth we are witnessing in our labor market which is becoming more sustainable and diversified."

Nevada added a seasonally adjusted 2,400 jobs in November compared with October, and 27,100 more jobs since the same time last year. The professional and business services sector grew the fastest, adding 11,300 jobs year-over-year, while the construction industry also posted strong growth with 3,100 more jobs than last year.

The department also released unemployment statistics for the state's three largest metropolitan areas. Those numbers aren't seasonally adjusted like the statewide figure.

Las Vegas' jobless rate rose from 6.8 percent in October to 7.1 percent in November. Reno's rate climbed from 6.1 percent to 6.4 percent over the month, and Carson City's unemployment rate increased from 6.8 percent to 7.1 percent. All of those rates are an improvement from November 2013, however.

"Month to month volatility in the metro areas is not unusual," said state economist Bill Anderson. "A better indication of the state's labor market can be seen in the year-over-year readings of the adjusted unemployment rates. All indications suggest that the state and metro areas are showing positive signs of recovery."

Nevada is also improving relative to other states after years at the bottom of the list. It now ranks 45th, with a better unemployment rate than Oregon, Rhode Island, California, Georgia, Mississippi and the District of Columbia.

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