In the midst of potential tax increases and government spending cuts, Nevada's unemployment rate dropped to 10.8 percent in November, according to a study released in late December by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.
Clark County fared slightly better in November with an unemployment rate of 10.4 percent, according to the study.
The dip in unemployment for the state results in the lowest rate in three years, but Nevada still ranks as the state with the highest unemployment rate.
"This month's 10.8 percent unemployment rate is the lowest since March 2009 and private sector employment reached the 1 million mark for the first time since 2009," Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a press release. "While this is good news, there is much work to be done. In order to continue to grow our state's economy, we must continue to diversify, recruit new businesses to Nevada and help retain workers still looking for employment."
The state's private sector has created an estimated 25,000 jobs since 2010, according to the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation's chief economist Bill Anderson.
"We're seeing signs of the situation improving," Anderson said. "There has been fairly widespread growth across the board, but it has not matched the pre-recession numbers."
In other words, he said, "The good news is we are improving, but the bad news is we've dug a deep hole."
For the first 11 months of 2012, the jobless rate has averaged 11.7 percent, down from 13.6 percent during the same period in 2011, according to the study.
Due to the state's unique economy, which relies heavily on tourism, as the nation's economy goes, so goes Nevada's, Anderson said.
"Job levels have stabilized and our major industry, leisure and entertainment, is turning up," he said. "What we've learned is that Nevada is very much dependent on the health of the national and even international economy."
Contact Paradise/Downtown View reporter Nolan Lister at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0492.