Published Friday, March 28, 2014 | 7:48 a.m.
Updated Friday, March 28, 2014 | 9:30 a.m.
CARSON CITY — State officials say Nevada's jobless rate continued its downward slide in February.
The Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported Friday that Nevada had 8.5 percent unemployment last month, down 0.2 percentage points from January. It's the lowest it's been since October 2008.
Total employment was 1,260,000, up more than 14,000 workers from January. But an estimated 119,900 people remained out of work.
State economist Bill Anderson says the job growth rate last month was the highest in the nation. Jobs grew 3.4 percent year-over-year.
The Las Vegas area registered an 8.6 percent jobless rate in February, compared to 8.9 percent in January. Jobs in the hotel-casino sector totaled 158,300, up 1,300 from January. But the number of jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities sectors was down 800 to a total 160,700 in February in the Las Vegas area.
Gov. Brian Sandoval says he's encouraged to see continued improvement in Nevada's economy, but says it's important to keep focusing on job creation.
Las Vegas Sun reporter Cy Ryan and the Associated Press contributed to this report.