Friday, April 20, 2012 | 8:30 a.m.
CARSON CITY — Unemployment dipped to 12.1 percent in Clark County in March, its lowest level since April 2011.
There were more jobs in the hotels and casinos and in the trades, transportation and utilities sectors in Southern Nevada.
The State Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported today that Nevada’s jobless rate overall fell to 12 percent, the seventh straight month of declines. There were 163,400 people unemployed last month.
“Unfortunately most of the decline is attributed to erosion in the labor force as opposed to outright improvement,” said Bill Anderson, chief economist for the department.
“The drop is due partly to discouraged workers who have simply given up looking for work,” Anderson said. “Nevertheless, the news is not all bad. The labor market is showing some positive signs of recovery.”
The state unemployment rate still surpasses the national 8.2 percent.
In the Las Vegas area, there were 117,800 reported jobless workers, down from 120,200 in February. The rate matches the 12.1 percent reported in April 2011.
Total employment in the Las Vegas market fell from 862,000 workers in February to 859,300 in March.
The casino-hotel segment added 600 jobs to 164,200. Utilities, transportation and trade reported a gain of 1,700 jobs to 148,600.
Employment in construction in Southern Nevada declined by 300 jobs to 34,800, and manufacturing lost 100 jobs, with 19,500 employed.
Washoe County’s jobless rate was 12 percent, with 26,600 people out of work. It was the lowest rate in three months for the Reno-Sparks area.
Unemployment also dipped in Carson City to 12.4 percent, its lowest rate in three months. There were 3,400 people without jobs.
“While employment growth (the number of people employed) in the near term is expected to be slow to moderate, job growth (number of jobs created) is expected to pick up significantly in the longer term,” Anderson said.