Nevada's jobless rate has fallen for the first time in five years, the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported this morning.
Joblessness decreased two-tenths of a point, to 14.2% in October over September, the DETR announced in a statement. The improvement was even more pronounced in Las Vegas, where unemployment fell from 15% in September to 14.1% last month.
"This is a clear sign that the recession's grip on Nevada may finally be loosening," DETR Chief Economist Bill Anderson said in the statement. "The number of jobs being eliminated is stabilizing, but there is no sign of major job growth on the horizon. While the decline in the rate is immediate good news, there is still a long road ahead to completely recover from the devastating effects of the recession."
The U.S. unemployment rate in October was 9.6%.
The last time the jobless rate declined was in December 2005, when the local economy was booming and unemployment decreased to 4.2%. Since then, the Great Recession has devastated Nevada's tourism and construction industries, and the state has led the nation in joblessness, bankruptcies and foreclosures. In total, 181,600 Nevadans, and 135,000 Las Vegas Valley residents were without work in October.