The severe outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 created an unstable and deteriorating economy that failed to support millions of American workers. As a result, the unemployment rate rose steadily across the country and it continues to be a pressing issue in the Las Vegas Valley today.
According to a report by the Congressional Research Service, the unemployment rate reached 14.8 percent in April 2020, the highest rate ever recorded since 1948. It remained higher in July 2020, with an estimate of 5.4 percent, compared to Feb. 2020 when it was 3.5 percent.
Although gradual and progressive advances are taking place in some states, there exists a majority of individuals who are still struggling to become financially stable.
Although Las Vegas takes place in the middle of the spectrum, its unemployment rate is relatively high when compared to pre-pandemic years.
As a result of Gov. Sisiolak’s order to close casinos and businesses to control the spread of the virus, the unemployment rate in Vegas climbed to approximately 33 percent in April 2020, as reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Unemployment rate has improved this year, from 33 percent in April 2020 to 8.9 percent in May. However, in June, it crept to 9.6 percent.
According to Nevada’s Research and Analysis Bureau, Eureka County has the lowest unemployment rate in the Las Vegas valley at 2.5 percent while Clark County has the highest at 9.6 percent.
The fluctuating rates of unemployment in Las Vegas signal the need to address this problem by the local government.
The federal extension of unemployment benefits, a weekly payment of $300, Sept. 7, resulting in families and people receiving financial assistance will no longer be supported. Regular unemployment insurance will be the only program available after these benefits expire.
It is crucial to recognize the federal government’s assistance in alleviating Americans’ financial burdens during these trying times. Some of these programs provided direct payments to people earning up to $75,000 per year, including a $1,400 payment per child.
Overall, the unemployment situation in Las Vegas has eased. However, there is room for improvement.