February rate increased to 13.9 percent, the 14th consecutive month of double-digit joblessness

Unemployment in the Las Vegas area in February increased to 13.9 percent, the 14th consecutive month of double-digit joblessness in southern Nevada.

Statewide, the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported the state’s jobless rate grew from 13 percent in January to 13.2 percent in February with an estimated 189,000 unemployed.

Nevada has the nation’s second-highest jobless rate, trailing Michigan. The national jobless rate was 9.7 percent.

In Las Vegas there were an estimated 137,500 people out of work, or about 1,600 more than in January. But in a positive sign, for the second month in a row the casino and hotel sectors in the city added workers, employing 1,300 more people than in January for a total of 152,500.

Construction employment in southern Nevada continued to decline, dropping 400 workers to 51,300. Manufacturing reported 20,200 jobs, 100 less than in January. Utilities, transportation and trade had 140,800 employed in February, down 1,200.

“A number of national indicators show signs of economic improvement, though the prospects for rapid growth this year remain tenuous at best,” a spokesman for the department told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

He added that the longer it takes for the national economy to rebound the longer it will take for Nevada’s leisure and hospitality-dependent economy to recover.

“Consumers are still in no mood to spend,” he said. “Workers are still uncertain about short-term prospects and are unlikely to spend on recreation and entertainment any time soon."