Friday, March 30, 2012 | 8:59 a.m.
Carson City -- Growth in the hotel-casino business helped the unemployment rate in Clark County fall to 12.2 percent in February, ending a two-month increase in the jobless rate in Southern Nevada.
The rate fell from 13.1 percent in January and is the lowest since April 2011, when unemployment was at 12.1 percent, the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported. But there were some soft spots in the Southern Nevada labor market in February.
Employment in the hotel-casino industry grew from 160,700 in January to 163,600 in February in Clark County.
Statewide, the department reported the jobless rate dropped to 12.3 percent, down from 12.7 percent in January. It was the lowest rate since 12.1 percent in May 2011.
But it was still far above the national rate of 8.3 percent.
“The latest decline in our unemployment rate indicates our economic indicators are headed in the right direction, but this month’s figures are also a reminder that we must continue to strive for job growth in every sector in this fragile economic recovery," Gov. Brian Sandoval said.
In the Clark County market, there were 799,500 employed compared to the 812,300 in January.
Bill Anderson, chief economist for the department, said that though the labor market has begun to improve, “the state’s recovery will not be without a bump or two along the way.”
Anderson said it was best not to focus on one month’s development.
In Clark County, employment in the construction industry fell from 36,800 in January to 35,100 in February. Manufacturing employment remained steady at 19,600. The number of workers in trade, transportation and utilities dropped from 150,200 in January to 146,900 in February.
The unemployment rate in Washoe County declined from 13 percent in January to 12.2 percent in February, while Carson City’s rate fell from 13.5 percent to 12.7 percent.