Nevada initial unemployment claims down by a third for week ending April 18 |

Nevada initial unemployment claims down by a third for week ending April 18

By Geoff Dornan

Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell to 39,145 last week.

That is a third fewer than the claims filed in the previous week. But officials at the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation point out that through the week ending April 18, there have been 369,670 claims filed seeking benefits, more than any full calendar year in Nevada history.

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

For the week ending April 18, that includes 609 initial claims in Carson City and 429 in Douglas. Churchill County saw 191 initial claims, Lyon County 895 and Storey County just 12 new claims.

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 data released Friday by DETR, there are now 2,713 continuing claimants in Carson City, 1,830 in Douglas and 587 in Churchill. Lyon County has 2,112 receiving benefits and Storey County 61.

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