- Associated Press - Friday, May 16, 2014

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Nevada’s unemployment rate fell to 8 percent in April, dropping one-half of a percentage point from the previous month and marking the biggest decline in three decades, the state reported Friday.

Employers added 3,000 jobs in April, representing the ninth consecutive month of job gains and 39th consecutive monthly increase on a year-over-year basis, the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported.

There were 110,000 people unemployed in April, down from 117,300 in March.

Chief Economist Bill Anderson said for the first four months of the year Nevada has 44,000 more jobs than the same period a year ago. The improving job market along with other indicators such as rebounding home prices signal that the economy is strengthening after the recession, he said.

The state has recovered about 55 percent of jobs lost during the Great Recession, when Nevada’s housing market plunged and the jobless rate soared to 14 percent in 2010.

The statewide rate in April was down from 8.5 percent in March. Nevada hasn’t seen that big of a percentage drop since 1983.

“Nearly all major industries and all of Nevada’s metropolitan statistical areas are growing in this broad based recovery with nearly every new report bringing noticeable advances,” Anderson said.

The jobless rate in Las Vegas fell to 7.4 percent, down 2.5 percentage points from the same month last year. Employment in Las Vegas is up 27,300 for the year, the report said.

The Reno area saw the jobless rate fall 2.9 percentage points to 7 percent, with the region up 8,900 jobs for the year. Elsewhere, Carson City’s unemployment rate dropped 2.5 percentage points to 7.8 percent, while the rate in Elko fell to 5 percent from 6 percent in April 2013.

Gov. Brian Sandoval hailed the report as a sign that the state’s economy is gaining steam.

“Our state continues to make positive economic progress, and most importantly, more Nevadans are working again,” Sandoval said in a statement. “We are experiencing broad-based growth across nearly all industries and we have added jobs for nine straight months.”