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State Unemployment Declines, Las Vegas Up Slightly

(Carson City, NV) — Nevada’s unemployment rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 12.6 percent in December, bringing the total number of unemployed in the state to 166,300. This is the second consecutive month that the unemployment rate has declined. A year ago, the rate hit a record high of 14.9 percent.

“Continued modest employment growth, combined with relatively stable labor force, paved the way for the decline in the rate,” said Bill Anderson, chief economist for the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR).

However, in Las Vegas, the unemployment rate increased from 12.4 percent in November to 12.7 percent in December.

Based upon preliminary information, the unemployment situation improved in 2011 compared to the previous year.  Statewide, the jobless rate averaged 13.1 percent in 2011, down nearly two full percentage points from the 2010 average of 14.9 percent.  In Las Vegas, the unemployment rate declined nearly two percentage points – down from 15.2 percent in 2010 to 13.3 percent in 2011.

On the jobs front, December employment readings came in 3,500 higher than a year ago, the fourth consecutive gain.  For the entire year, Nevada added about 2,100 jobs (preliminary estimate), the first such gain since 2007.

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