Nevada jobless rate down to 7.1 percent in October; lowest figure since June 2008

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LAS VEGAS — Nevada's unemployment rate fell to a six-year low in October and reached a level not seen since the early stages of the recession that rattled the state's economy.

The Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported Friday that Nevada's October jobless rate was 7.1 percent, which is down from 7.3 percent in September and 9.4 percent from a year ago.

The rate hasn't been that low since June 2008, about six months into the recession that bogged down the state's economy as the housing market plummeted and tourism fell dramatically.

The state's annual unemployment rate is expected to continue to drop to a level below 8 percent this year, to 6.5 percent next year and 5.5 percent in 2016, according to the agency's forecasts.

The state also released regional unemployment statistics that aren't seasonally adjusted like the statewide figure. Las Vegas' unemployment rate was down to 6.8 percent, while the Reno area's rate was 6.1 percent.

Carson City's jobless rate was 6.8 percent.

For the first time in nine months, construction wasn't the employment leader in the state, taking third in October behind professional and business services, which grew by 6.4 percent. Education and health services grew by 3.9 percent. Leisure and hospitality employment grew by 1.1 percent in the month.

Every job sector expanded in October except for mining, which remained flat.

Still, the state added fewer jobs than it expected to in October, 1,000 jobs versus 8,300, the agency reported.

Christopher Robison, an economist with the agency, said he couldn't say why the number was lower than expected. He said the figure comes from a survey of employers, making it susceptible to swings based on responses.

Nevada did add 41,300 jobs across the state in the first 10 months of the year, the agency said.

The number of employers in the state has also grown by 4.2 percent to 60,500 in the third quarter, the agency said, putting Nevada on pace to have more employers than it did the year prior for the third year in a row.

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