Unemployment rate down in April

The percentage of Nevadans looking for a job fell in April - but only by a tenth of a percent.

The statewide rate of 4.3 percent, however, was a full 1.3 percent lower than the national unemployment rate.

Gov. Kenny Guinn said it was especially encouraging to see the casino hotels and gaming sector add 2,200 jobs during the month.

"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," he said.

That matches the dramatic improvement in casino win numbers of the past three months - all of which have been double digit increases.

Employment, Training and Rehabilitation Director Birgit Baker said barring some unforeseen shock to the economy, the gaming industry's growth is expected to accelerate over the next year.

Despite the added gaming jobs, the unemployment rate in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Statistical Area was stable at 4.4 percent from March to April. Washoe County remained lowest in the jobless rate with just 3.9 percent looking for work. That is down two-tenths from March and seven-tenths of a percent from a year ago.

The Carson City area - which includes Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties as well as the capital - was at 5.3 percent. Carson's numbers are down three-tenths of a percent from March and 1.3 percent below April 2003.

Baker said overall Nevada has added 49,200 jobs in the past year. The state now has a labor force of 1,175,400, all but 50,900 of them employed.

Contact Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.


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