The Department of Employment,
Training and Rehabilitation reports that initial claims for unemployment
benefits fell by almost 7,000 to 21,635 last week.
That is the second
consecutive decrease in initial claims but officials point out that 440,744
people have filed in just the last nine weeks following the governor’s order to
close most businesses in the state.
Continuing claims for
benefits, as expected, increased again and as of the week ending May 9 totaled
324,444. That is an increase of 20,871 from the previous week.
That raises the state’s
insured unemployment rate to 23.5 percent, the highest in state history.
Continuing claims are the
current number of unemployed who are filing weekly for benefits.
Next week’s numbers could
improve significantly since that will see some workers in retail stores,
restaurants and other businesses return to their jobs.
Gov. Steve Sisolak has
ordered that those and some other businesses be allowed to reopen with
restrictions including social distancing, a limit of 50 percent occupancy of
stores and restaurants and mandates that employees wear masks when dealing with