Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell to their lowest level since the start of the pandemic last week.
For the week ending Aug. 22, just 10,938 new claims were filed with the state.
On top of that, continued claims fell by 12,143 to 228,203. That is the fewest continued claims since the week ending April 11.
All but 1,497 of the new claims were in Clark and Washoe counties. The number of claims in Carson City grew by just 94 during the week, 57 in Douglas County.
Clark accounted for 7,104 claims and Washoe 2,237.
As of the 22nd, there were 1,645 continuing claims in Carson City and 1,195 in Douglas. Lyon County reported 74 new claims and 1,412 continuing claims as of week’s end.
In addition, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that covers the self-employed and gig workers who can’t access regular benefits, fell to 10,871. That is the fewest PUA claims since the program began. PUA continued claims also fell by nearly 13,000 claims to 107,334.
But the program that provides regular benefits to those who have exhausted their UI benefits grew by 21,365.
As of the 22nd, five Nevada counties were ordered to keep their bars, taverns, breweries, distilleries and wineries shut. Nye County was partially open with closures mandated only in the city of Pahrump, home to the vast majority of Nye residents. Smaller communities like Amargosa Valley and Tonopah were allowed to reopen since, of the county’s 25 new cases, 23 were in Pahrump.
Still closed, in addition to Clark and Washoe, were Elko, Churchill and Lander counties. Elko’s situation will be reviewed in two weeks, the closure order for Clark and Washoe next week.
Unemployment officials say they are still very concerned about the number of fraudulent claims and are actively working with enforcement at the state and local levels as well as the U.S. Department of Labor to detect and prevent phony claims.
The first major arrest of some one for fraud happened this week when Brandon Casuutt of Henderson was charged with fraudulently obtaining $500,000 and buying himself a house with the money.