Nevada's jobless rate dipped slightly in April to 4.3 percent, spurred by the creation of 2,200 jobs in the casino and hotel industry.
The unemployment rate improved one-tenth of a percentage point last month from March figures, the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported Friday. Last April, the unemployment rate stood at 5.3 percent.
The state unemployment rate remained 1.3 percentage points below the national rate and 1.9 percentage points lower than neighboring California, according to the employment department.
"Another month of job growth and a declining unemployment rate confirms the strength of Nevada's economy," Gov. Kenny Guinn said in a statement. "Considering that the tourism industry has lagged behind many other parts of the state's economy in producing new jobs, this is a positive trend."
The state jobs office tallied 49,200 new jobs in the past 12 months
The number of out-of-work Nevadans dropped from March by about 1,000 to 50,900 in April, and the total jobs in all industries topped 1.12 million.
"Nevada has been one of the healthier states in the nation through the economic recovery" after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, said Karren Rhodes, employment department spokeswoman. She said job growth has been helped by new construction in the Las Vegas and Reno areas.
The state jobless rate is adjusted for seasonal changes in employment.
The department's labor market analysts estimate that during April, the Las Vegas metropolitan statistical area, including Nye County and Mohave County in Arizona, had a nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 4.4 percent, the same as the previous month and down 0.9 percentage points from the previous year.
Washoe County's nonseasonally adjusted April jobless rate was estimated at 3.9 percent, down 0.7 percentage points from a year ago and 0.2 points lower than last month.
In the Carson City market area, including Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties, April unemployment was reported at 5.3 percent, down 0.3 percentage points from March, and 1.3 points lower than a year ago.
The Elko labor market area, which includes Eureka County, reported unemployment at 4.1 percent, down 0.4 percentage points from the previous month and 2.1 points lower than a year ago.
Gambling industry growth followed strong March visitor activity, and should continue to improve during the next 12 months, said Birgit Baker, Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation director.
Preliminary wage and salary employment estimates for April reflected no change in information sector employment, including telecommunications. It reported a loss of 300 jobs for the year.
Categories showing significant job growth in the past year include trade, transportation and utilities, with an increase of 8,000 jobs; professional and business services, up 7,900 jobs; leisure and hospitality, up 7,500 jobs; and construction, with 11,400 new jobs.