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Nev. jobless rate remains at 9.5 percent in August

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Nevada's unemployment rate held steady at 9.5 percent in August, maintaining the highest jobless rate in the country even though it added 11,200 jobs from a month ago, state officials said Friday.

Gov. Brian Sandoval said he's pleased that the state saw its strongest month-to-month job gain since April 2005, but still sees plenty more work to be done.

"While recent evidence suggests that we are headed in the right direction, our stubbornly high unemployment rate illustrates that much room remains for improvement," Sandoval said in a statement.

All major industry sectors gained jobs last month except the financial activities category, which lost 100 jobs, according to the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. The private sector saw 10,000 new jobs, while government employment rose by 1,200 since July.

State officials caution against looking too closely into monthly numbers, which have been swinging wildly up and down since early this year.

"Accounting for the volatile nature of the monthly estimates, perhaps it is best to look at the summer of 2013 as a whole," said state economist Bill Anderson. "From June through August, jobs levels have increased by 7,900. This is the best summer Nevadans have experienced since 2005, which is a little surprising in light of the sharp decline in July, in advance of August's gain."

Regional numbers, which aren't seasonally adjusted like the state figures are, also showed improvement.

Las Vegas' unemployment rate ticked down from 9.7 percent to 9.6 percent in August, while the Reno area's rate fell from 9.3 percent to 9.1 percent.

Carson City's figure dropped from 9.5 percent to 9.4 percent.