Nevada’s unemployment rate fell to 9.6 percent in April, down 2 percentage points year-over-year.
The jobless rate also dropped in the state’s metro areas. Las Vegas’ unemployment rate was 9.6 percent in April, down 0.2 percentage points. The rate in the Reno-Sparks area fell by 0.3 percentage points to 9.7 percent, while Carson City fell 0.5 percentage points to 10.1 percent.
That leaves Carson City as the only major reporting area in the state still reporting double digit unemployment. Carson’s 10.1 percent rate translates to 2,800 people looking for work in a labor force of 27,200. A key factor in the capital is that Carson’s three largest employers — the state, school district and city — are public entities. While private employers statewide added 6,500 jobs over the month, the public sector cut 800, nearly 200 of them in Carson City.
That loss was evenly split between state and local governments statewide.
The net is an increase of 5,600 jobs statewide over the month, which is better than the typical March-April increase of 4,200 jobs.
Elko reported the lowest rate in the state at 5.6 percent, down three tenths from March.
Churchill County saw a bigger improvement than most reporting areas in the state, dropping a full half percent to 8.2 percent unemployment form March through April. That leaves 1,050 people jobless in a labor force of 12,770.
Likewise, the rate for both Douglas and Lyon county improved substantially with each decreasing 0.6 percentage points. That leaves Douglas at 10.7 percent in April and Lyon at 13.3 percent. Lyon still has the highest unemployment rate in the state.
Statewide, those figures mean 132,000 still are looking for work.
Goods producing industries saw a 1,200 job decline from March — 1,000 of them in the construction industry. Leisure and hospitality, Nevada’s largest employer, gained 2,100 jobs during the month. Professional and business services had the largest gain at 4,300 jobs.
“The continuing improvement in Nevada’s economy is apparently encouraging more people to join the labor force, which has grown by 6,100 people since January,” said Bill Anderson, chief economist for the agency Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.
“Improving fundamentals and a resurgence in Americans moving to sunnier states from the north is having a beneficial impact on Nevada’s ailing housing market,” the report said. Nevada’s foreclosure rate in April was the highest in the nation.
“As the labor market continues to improve, Nevada could rapidly make up lost ground,” the state report said, concluding that a “rising number of jobs and a falling unemployment rate nudged Nevada a step in the right direction.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.