CARSON CITY -- Nevada's unemployment rate dipped to 8.8 percent in December, down from 9 percent in November and its lowest since November 2008. But it was still higher than the national average of 6.7 percent.
The state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported today that the average unemployment rate for last year fell to 9.4 percent, down from 11.1 percent in 2012.
Preliminary figures show 18,900 jobs in private industry were created statewide during the past year.
"It appears that gross job losses have receded to normal levels and are hovering around pre-recession lows," said Bill Anderson, an economist with the agency. "Although job trends have turned positive, hiring activity needs to pick up to see more noticeable net gains."
In Clark County, the unemployment rate for December was 8.9 percent, up from 8.6 percent in November.
Gov. Brian Sandoval said he was pleased Nevada ended on a positive note but that the jobless rate was still too high.
The trend, however, is "pointing to further job growth and a continued decrease in the unemployment" for this year, he said.
Anderson said that last year, the construction industry "finally turned the corner after six consecutive years of decline."
Building activity returned to the Las Vegas Strip and home prices rebounded in Southern and Northern Nevada, he said.
In Washoe County the unemployment rate increased from 8.2 percent in November to 8.4 percent in December. Carson City's jobless rate also rose, from 9.1 percent in November to 9.3 percent in December.
Original headline: Nevada unemployment rate dips to lowest level since late 2008
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