Initial claims for jobless benefits in Nevada fell 13.5% in January compared with the same month a year ago.
A report Thursday by the Department of Employment, Business and Industry says 20,553 initial claims for unemployment were filed in January.
State economist Bill Anderson says January marks the 35th time in the past 38 months that initial claims have been lower than the year before.
Initial jobless claims in Nevada peaked in December 2008 at more than 36,000. Anderson says the gradual decline over the last four years shows the state's economy is slowly rebounding, but that unemployment benefit numbers may stabilize at higher levels than they have in the past.
Meanwhile, nationally the number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell by 27,000 last week, an indication that hiring could improve.
The Labor Department says weekly applications dropped to a seasonally adjusted 341,000, the lowest level in three weeks. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose to 352,500, after reaching a five-year low two weeks ago.
The huge snowstorm that hit the Northeast this weekend seems to have had little impact on the data. The report covers the week ended Feb. 9, before the storm hit.
A department spokesman said Connecticut was unable to report data to the federal government earlier this week because state offices were closed after the storm. Illinois also didn't provide data, so both states' figures were estimated by the Labor Department. (AP)