State unemployment rate falls

Nevada's unemployment rate went down a tenth of a percent in February and remains well below the nation and California.

The percentage dropped from 4.1 to 4 percent from January. A total of 50,100 of Nevada's 1.26 million workers were looking for work.

That figure is well below the 4.9 percent unemployment rate in California and the national average 4.8 percent for the month.

Terry Johnson, director of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, said that is also well below the state's 10-year average of 4.8 percent.

Unemployment in the Carson City area was listed at 4.9 percent for the month, down four-tenths of a percent since January and eight-tenths in the past year. An estimated 1,400 of the capital's 28,000-member labor force was looking for work last month.

The Reno-Sparks reporting area continued to improve as well, dropping from 4.5 percent to 4.1 percent in February. One year ago, 4.9 percent of those in Washoe County were out of work. The area has a labor pool of 215,600.

The story was similar in Elko, where those out of work dropped from 4.5 percent to 4.2 percent - about 1,000 of that area's 24,500 labor force.

The Las Vegas area, which has 898,700 of the state's workers, reported a-tenth decline as well to 3.8 percent in February.

Overall, the number of people without jobs in Nevada has declined nearly 5,000 over the past year despite population growth which continues to lead the nation.

Gov. Kenny Guinn said the fact Nevada has added nearly 75,000 jobs in the past year coupled with record taxable sales and gaming revenues confirms the health of the state's economy.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.


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