Thursday, March 21, 2013 | 1:06 p.m.
CARSON CITY — The number of people filing first-time claims for jobless benefits fell to 15,993 in February, a drop of 7.1 percent from the same month last year.
The state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation said it was the 36th time in the past 39 months that the claims have been lower than the same month the previous year.
It’s only the second time since the recession, however, that claims have been below 16,000. Prior to the recession, monthly initial claims averaged 13,000.
The highest number of first-time applications was 36,414 in December 2008.
“This suggests a strengthening labor market, as fewer people are losing their jobs and entering unemployment than at the same time last year,” department Economist Bill Anderson said. “This continues to suggest that while Nevada’s economy is on the road to recovery, significant room for improvement remains.”