Nevada unemployment claims set record |

Nevada unemployment claims set record

Nevadans seeking unemployment benefits set an all-time record this past week, filing 85,942 initial claims with the Employment Security Division.

That means initial claims went from 6,356 a week ago to a total of 92,298. That is the highest number of claims filed in one week in state history.

Claims are divided into two categories — initial claims for those newly unemployed and continuing claims for those already on the list but still unemployed.

The reason is Gov. Steve Sisolak’s decision to close all non-essential businesses in Nevada to try to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Nationally, the U.S. saw a similar, record-breaking increase as initial claims rose by 3 million to 3,283,000.

Continued claims rose slightly over the week ending March 21 to 19,822 but a spokesman for the division said continued claims will rise significantly next week because businesses will still be closed and workers still on the street.

In Carson City, initial claims went from just over 350 to just under 700 in the week. The increase was much less dramatic in the capital because so many people work for public entities like state government that aren’t shut down.

At the same time, DETR officials announced plans to add more staff to its online help desk to accommodate individuals needing help to reset their unemployment login information. The spokesman said help desk hours will now include Saturday morning hours from 8 a.m. to noon.

The northern Nevada Security Help Desk number of 775-687-6838. During the week, help desk hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.