Despite improved employment numbers, Nevada has long way to go - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Despite improved employment numbers, Nevada has long way to go

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Friday brought good news on the jobless front for Nevada and the Las Vegas area. The Silver State's unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent for December.

In the city of Las Vegas, the rate is slightly better, sitting at 10 percent. That's a big improvement over December of 2011 when Las Vegas had 13.3 percent unemployment.

While the numbers are moving in the right direction, there remains much room for improvement.

The Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation's (DETR) Frank Woodbeck said that overall we are seeing the lowest jobless numbers statewide since 2009, with jobs being created in all sectors.

"Business services, utilities, trade, transportation, other professional services … and the hospitality industry actually leads the way right now," he said.

The Light Group manages and operates numerous clubs, pools and restaurants in Las Vegas. It is reaping the benefits of an improved economy.

"We're very fortunate. We have a very talented employee workforce and we're looking to expand greatly," said the Light Group's Colin Comer.

The company will be interviewing for nearly 200 jobs at the Light nightclub next week. The club will be located inside Mandalay Bay. The company will then begin interviewing for jobs at resort corridor pools.

UNLV economics professor Bill Robinson said that despite the positive news, many of the jobs being created in the valley are entry-level and don't pay very well.

"Casinos laid off a lot of people. They aren't going to hire back middle management positions first. They are going to fill service positions that have direct consumer contact," Robinson said.

Still, any good news is welcome and at the end of the day, a job is a job.

"We have a number of businesses that are growing and new businesses coming in," Robinson said. "They are adding 100 to 200 jobs, 50 jobs, 300 jobs, etc. That's sustainable and that's good."

According to the Census Bureau, Nevada is the sixth-fastest growing state in the country. Declining jobless numbers and an increasing population provide much optimism for 2013.

Lower unemployment numbers were also reported in northern Nevada. Jobless figures, however, do not include those who have given up looking for work.

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