Nevada’s jobless rate balloons to 16.8% after another 40,000 claims | nnbw.com
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Nevada’s jobless rate balloons to 16.8% after another 40,000 claims

Geoff Dornan

gdornan@nevadaappeal.com

Antique Angel Wedding Chapel in downtown Reno, seen here closed March 21, was one of several local wedding businesses that shut down for weeks due to the pandemic.
Photo: Kevin MacMillan / NNBW

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Initial claims for unemployment benefits in Nevada fell to 39,145 for the week ending April 18.

That is a third fewer than the claims filed in the previous week, according to the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

However, according to an April 24 press release announcing the new totals, state officials said that so far in 2020, as of April 18, there have been 369,670 claims filed seeking benefits, more than any full calendar year in Nevada’s history.

Still, the statewide weekly initial claims number is far lower than the more-than 90,000 who filed for benefits in the week ending March 21 after Gov. Steve Sisolak shut down “non-essential” businesses, including all bars and restaurants.

As initial claims continue to decline, the number of continuing claims is still rising, since those who previously filed remain jobless and collecting benefits. There were 231,618 continuing claims at the Employment Security Division.

That puts the overall unemployment rate at 16.8 percent, the highest in Nevada history.

Because Nevada’s economy relies so heavily on tourism and hospitality businesses, 35 percent of those claiming benefits are in the accommodations and food services industry, a total of more than 80,000 workers. No other single industry was in double digits, according to DETR officials.

According to DETR, Nevada’s unemployment trust fund paid out $55.2 million to claimants for the week ending April 18. But Nevada is in far better shape than many other states. The trust fund still has a balance of $1.84 billion.