Hospitality, retail, construction workers hardest hit in Nevada

LAS VEGAS — The number of out-of-work people filing new claims for jobless benefits in Nevada is closing in on 390,000 since casinos and other businesses were shuttered to prevent spread of the coronavirus, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday.

More than 45,000 people filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week. That equates to more than one in four workers with jobs in Nevada in February filing for benefits since the week of March 21.

Gov. Steve Sisolak's office and the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation didn't immediately respond to emails about the data.

Hospitality, food service, retail, real estate and construction trades have been among the hardest hit by layoffs and furloughs, according to a report by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. It said workers in those categories made up more than half the nearly 342,000 new applicants filing for jobless benefits in five weeks ending April 18.

The governor is expected Thursday to announce he's extending until at least May 15 his directive asking people to stay at home to limit the spread of the virus.

However, he said Wednesday he'll ease restrictions on some businesses and outdoor activities beginning Friday, including golfing and tennis, as long people abide by social distancing guidelines. Schools will remain closed for the current school year.

Sisolak said Las Vegas casinos probably won't reopen until the third or fourth phase of his gradual reopening plan. He has not provided a timeline.

State health officials report at least 237 people have died statewide and nearly 4,500 have tested positive for Covid-19.

Most people with the virus experience symptoms such as fever and cough for up to three weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems can face severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.


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