- Associated Press - Friday, July 18, 2014

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Nevada’s jobless rate has dipped to its lowest level in nearly six years, dropping from 7.9 percent in May to 7.7 percent in June as the state saw an 11th month of job gains.

The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported Friday that the state gained 5,300 jobs in June, led by growth in the construction industry.

“I am pleased with the steady improvements reflected in the most recent labor market report,” Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a statement. “Although this positive news is welcomed, we must remain vigilant in our economic development efforts to continue moving Nevada forward.”

State economist Bill Anderson said that if Nevada keeps on pace in the second half of the year, the state will have added 100,000 new jobs over the 2010-2014 period.

Better underlying conditions in the national labor market should pave the way for more improvement in Nevada’s labor market in the future, according to Anderson.

“By the end of next year, our expectations are for Nevada employment to be approximately 95 percent of the pre-recessionary peak,” he said.

Regional numbers, which are not seasonally adjusted as the statewide figures are, held steady or showed small moves in the right direction.

Unemployment in the Las Vegas area remained flat at 7.9 percent from May to June, but was down 2.5 percentage points from a year earlier.

The jobless rate in the Reno area fell to 7.2 percent and Carson City’s rate dipped to 7.9 percent. Reno’s unemployment rate is down 2.8 percentage points year-over-year, while Carson City’s jobless rate is down 2.5 percent from last June.

Nevada had the third-highest unemployment rate in the country in June, behind Rhode Island and Mississippi, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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