Friday, March 29, 2013 | 8:42 a.m.
CARSON CITY — Nevada’s unemployment rate fell to 9.6 percent in February, the lowest since December 2008.
The state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported today there were 132,000 people without work, a decrease of 600 from the previous month when the jobless was 9.7 percent.
But Nevada still exceeds the national rate of 7.7 percent.
The jobless rate in Clark County dipped to 9.8 percent, the first time it has been in single digits since December 2008.
Gov. Brian Sandoval said he was pleased with the direction of the economy.
“Unemployment is trending down, jobs are moving in a positive direction and for the first time in more than a decade women account for almost 46 percent of the total work force,” Sandoval said.
The statewide jobless rate of 9.6 percent compares to a rate of 11.8 percent in February 2012.
“So far this year through February, slightly more than 20,000 jobs have been added compared to a year ago,” said the department’s chief economist, Bill Anderson, who projects continued improvement.
The report said unemployment declined in Washoe County from 10.6 percent in January to 10.1 percent in February , while Carson City fell from 11.2 percent in January to 10.7 percent last month.
The department said total employment statewide grew from 1,226,400 in January to 1,241,600 in February.
Leading the way was employment in the leisure/hospitality industry, which added 10,000 more jobs in the first two months of this year than in the same period in 2012.
In Clark County, 897,800 people were employed in February compared to 885,800 in January.
The report said construction jobs in Clark County increased from 36,800 in January to 37,400 in February.
Manufacturing employment remained flat at 20,000, while casino hotels reported 176,100 employees, up 500 from January. Trade, transportation and utilities accounted for 154,200 employed in February, down from the 156,800 in January.