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Nevada's unemployment office addresses claim surge

Unemployment rate almost 30% in state
Posted at 8:43 AM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 20:57:49-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Finalized data from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) show initial claims for unemployment insurance totaled 17,837 for the week ending May 16, down 3,798 claims, or 17.6 percent compared to last week’s total of 21,635. This is the first week since the COVID-19 related business closures where the total number of regular initial claims has fallen below 20,000. Through the week ending May 16, there have been 480,233 initial claims filed in 2020, 458,581 of which have come in the last ten weeks.

Continued claims, which represent the current number of insured unemployed workers filing weekly for unemployment insurance benefits, rose to 369,041. This is an increase from the previous week of 44,597 claims, or 13.7 percent. The state’s insured unemployment rate, which is the ratio of continued claims in a week to the total number of jobs covered by the unemployment insurance system (also known as covered employment), was 26.8 percent in the week, the highest insured unemployment rate in state history and the second highest rate in the nation behind only Washington (30.6%). It should be noted that the calculation of the insured unemployment rate is different from that of the state’s total unemployment rate.

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On May 16, the State of Nevada’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program began accepting claims from Nevada’s workers who are self-employed, 1099 contract workers, and gig workers. Initial claims filed for the week ending May 16, which were all filed on May 16, totaled 27,399. There are no continued claims to report for the PUA program for the week ending May 16. Nevada also began taking Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) claims during the week, with a total of 518 claims. The PEUC program provides up to 13 weeks of benefits to individuals who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits.

13 Action News received dozens of calls and emails from gig workers, claiming they were having issues filing, or hadn't received their pay. According to DETR, first payments are expected to be made beginning Wednesday, May 27.

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Nationally, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted regular initial claims was 2,438,000 a decline of 249,000 claims from the previous week's revised level of 2,981,000. The national insured unemployment rate for the week ending May 9 was 17.2 percent, the highest rate in the history of the series. The national rate is reported with a one-week lag.

To file for unemployment in the State of Nevada, please use the online application available 24/7 at http://ui.nv.gov/css.html. People unable to file online may file via telephone by calling a UI Claims Call Center between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday and Saturday between 8 a.m. and noon. Northern UI Call Center: (775) 684-0350; Southern UI Call Center: (702) 486-0350; Rural areas and Out-of-State: (888) 890-8211. Claimants are highly encouraged to use the internet to file their UI claims, as it is the fastest and most convenient way to file and reserves the phone lines for individuals who are not able or do not have the necessary resources to file online. Online filing during non-peak hours, such as early mornings, at night or weekends is also highly recommended. To continue to receive benefits, claimants must file weekly.