LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.8% in May, down from 8% in April, according to figures released Tuesday by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

The Las Vegas metro area’s unemployment rate dropped from 9.1% to 8.9%.

North Las Vegas again had the state’s highest unemployment rate of any city, at 9.9% — down from 10% last month.

The table below shows May unemployment (%) on the left, and April unemployment (%) on the right:

Hiring in the Las Vegas metro area restored 8,200 jobs as pandemic restrictions eased and Nevada adjusted to businesses reopening at 100%.

DETR reports that initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits totaled 15,401 statewide — the lowest total initial claims so far in 2021.

“This month’s data gives us our first look at the employment impacts from the state’s move back to being 100% open, and where that process stood in the middle of May,” said David Schmidt, Chief Economist.

“These estimates show particularly strong growth in the food services industry, which grew by 4.5 percent over the month and added 5,400 jobs since April,” Schmidt said. “The leisure and hospitality industry added the most jobs over the month overall, with 9,500 jobs statewide and 6,800 in Las Vegas as large hotel casinos continue to ramp up hiring to capture pent up demand for summer tourism.”

Employment in construction was also up, according to DETR.

DETR also reports that labor force participation was 2% higher before the pandemic, and 159,000 people are still filing weekly claims for unemployment benefits. That’s down from 190,000 in April.

“While employment has not fully recovered and unemployment remains high, the trends consistently point to an ongoing recovery as we head into the summer” Schmidt said.