NV Unemployment Drops Below 9%

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CARSON CITY, NV - Nevada's unemployment rate dropped from 9 percent to 8.8 percent in December, the lowest reading since November 2008.

The decline marked the fourth consecutive month the unemployment rate decreased in Nevada.

Nevada's unemployment rate, for all of 2013, averaged 9.4 percent, which is down from 11.1 percent the prior year.

The annual unemployment rate declined in each of Nevada's 17 counties compared to 2012.

Nye County recorded the largest year-to-year annual decrease, 2.1 percentage points. Ten counties had rate declines of at least one percentage point, and an additional seven counties had declines between 0.1 and 0.8 point.

Lyon County has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 13 percent, while Esmeralda's annual rate is the lowest at 3.7 percent in 2013.

However, the metro areas saw an increase in the unemployment rate last month. Las Vegas' rate increased from 8.6 percent to 8.9 percent, Reno went from 8.2 percent to 8.4 percent. Carson City's December rate rose from 9.1 percent to 9.3 percent.

Unemployment rates for the state's metropolitan areas are not adjusted for seasonality.

For comparison purposes, the state's unadjusted unemployment rate was 8.8 percent in December, up from 8.5 percent in November.

Preliminary figures suggest that another 18,900 private sector positions were created during the past calendar year.