Friday, May 18, 2012 | 9:25 a.m.
CARSON CITY — The unemployment rate in the Las Vegas area fell to 11.6 percent in April, the lowest point in three years, as job growth picked up in the state and Southern Nevada.
The state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported there were 811,800 people employed last month, 4,000 more than on the job in March in Clark County.
The unemployment rate is the lowest since May 2009, when an 11.1 percent unemployment rate was posted in Clark County. The number of jobless in April was 113,600, or 4,100 lower than the previous month.
Statewide, the unemployment rate dipped to 11.7 percent, also its lowest rate in three years.
Gov. Brian Sandoval said the state “has recorded year-over-year private sector job gains every month since early 2011, a clear sign that we are slowly but steadily working our way toward a stronger economy.”
Construction employment in the Las Vegas area increased to 35,000 in April, up 200 jobs from March, officials said. The biggest gain was recorded in the utilities, transportation and trade sector, which rose to 151,100 people employed, a gain of 2,500 jobs.
The hotel-casino segment dropped 100 workers from March to 164,100 in April. Manufacturing employment inched up to 19,700, an increase of 200 from March.
The department said the unemployment rate in Washoe County fell from 12 percent in March to 11.4 percent in April. Carson City’s jobless rate declined from 12.4 percent in March to 11.8 percent in April.
But Nevada’s unemployment rate still exceeds the national rate of 8.1 percent.
Bill Anderson, chief economist for the department, said while the job growth has been good, there have been other factors in the decline of unemployment.
At the beginning of the recession, 67.8 percent of Nevada’s population was in the labor force, either employed or unemployed. It is now 64.9 percent.
Anderson said this suggests workers are dropping out of the labor force and are not counted among the unemployed.