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Tesla plant will lower Nevada unemployment: Pol

Nevada's 7.9 unemployment rate will "drop considerably" should Tesla Motors build its first lithium-ion battery plant roughly 30 miles north of Carson City, Mayor Bob Crowell told CNBC on Thursday.

"I don't know how much it's going to drop, but it's going to drop considerably," Crowell said on "Squawk on the Street." "It's huge."

Carson Street in Carson City, Nevada
Witold Skrypczak | Getty Images
Carson Street in Carson City, Nevada

Nevada beat out several states to get Tesla to build its $5 billion "gigafactory" outside Reno, a source from the governor's office told CNBC. The giant plant will employ roughly 6,500 people to build cheaper and more efficient battery packs for its future electric cars, the source said.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval will hold a news conference on Thursday in Carson City to make a "major economic development announcement,'' according to a media advisory from the state. Tesla spokesman Simon Sproule on Wednesday declined to give details but confirmed Tesla officials would be at the event.

"This could turn the page, and probably will turn the page economic diversification in Carson City in particular and in our little region in general," Crowell said Thursday.

Bringing the plant to Nevada came at a cost, though: Tesla required at least $500 million in incentives, a small price to pay for the overall economic benefit, he said.

"The spillover economic effect from this plant being put in the northern Nevada region will have a tremendous economic impact [and] will move Carson City forward in its diversification efforts," Crowell said.

"From my own personal perspective as a longtime native Nevadan, this is a great thing for the whole state of Nevada period."

—By CNBC's Drew Sandholm

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