An entry into the Eldorado Resort Casino in downtown Reno is chained and boarded up on March 21, 2020.
CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nearly 245,000 people have filed for unemployment in Nevada since casinos and other businesses closed in mid-March, according to U.S. Department of Labor figures published Thursday morning.
The tally for the week ending April 4 in the Silver State was almost 80,000 new jobless filings.
Last week, Gov. Steve Sisolak and Nevada labor officials acknowledged the state jobless office was overwhelmed by the record 93,000 claims filed the week ending March 21, after the governor ordered non-essential businesses — which includes all casinos — closed.
Another 71,400 Nevadans filed for unemployment the following week ending March 28.
On Wednesday, the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation said it has "nearly tripled staff," going from nearly 75 employees to more than 200 to handle the soaring unemployment insurance claims.
The agency continues to look at options for additional hires to support the program in the coming weeks, according to a press release from DETR.
According to the state, phone volumes to the unemployment insurance call centers for support are up to 90 times higher than normal when compared to calls before March 15.
Due to that volume, the state is urging residents to apply for unemployment through the online portal at http://ui.nv.gov/css.html.
From a national perspective, the U.S. Department of Labor report from Thursday morning indicates a staggering 16.8 million Americans have filed for unemployment the past 3 weeks.
The numbers showed that 6.6 million American workers applied for unemployment benefits last week, on top of more than 10 million in the two weeks before that.
That means more than 1 in 10 U.S. workers have been forced out of a job since the crisis took hold, the biggest, fastest pileup of job losses since record-keeping began in 1948.