LAUGHLIN — In a twist of irony, many Nevadans may see their first back-to-work paycheck before they see their first unemployment check.
Much of the Silvler State has, is, or is about to go back to work in the jobs they held before the COVID-19 closure of much of Nevada’s economy as ordered by Gov. Steve Sisolak on March 18.
Since that date, Nevada has seen record-breaking unemployment; so much so that Nevada is ranked as the hardest-hit state in America for unemployment. The numbers are staggering: As of May 30, Nevadans had filed 495,840 initial unemployment claims this year.
“The largest impact was felt in Las Vegas with an unemployment rate over 33% and a decline in employment near 21%,” DETR Chief Economist David Schmidt said in a news release.
The Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation has been on one wild rollercoaster ride that saw the head of that department resign and be replaced during the avalanche of unemployment filings at a time when its outdated computer system basically crashed along with the phone system — simultaneously, producing a nightmare for the nearly half-million Nevadans that found themselves without a paycheck and desperately in need of financial assistance. For those who were able to successfully traverse the forest at DETR and file a claim, many have seen little money actually arrive while others have run into walls of “verification” and “issues” with their claims. Meanwhile, their bills kept backing up into mountains and help seemed nowhere in sight.
Newly appointed head of DETR Heather Korbulic said last week that “claimants can expect to receive back payments.” By that time ,it appears that many of those owed “back payments” already will be back on the job and closer to their first employment paycheck than any unemployment money.
The worry, angst and anger this has produced will not be compensated for nor the emotional toll it has taken on those who found themselves caught in unemployment limbo.
This is also true for many in regards to the “stimulus” payments of $1,200 that the IRS was supposed to have doled out to all Americans starting almost two months ago. Some Americans have not seen those checks either and this after the federal government has considered and then decided against a second wave of such payments. Frustrated Americans have gone through the IRS portal seeking the status of those payments that all Americans were supposed to receive to help get “through the COVID shutdowns.”
Meanwhile, the IRS has moved on to trying to retrieve stimulus checks they erroneously sent out to deceased Americans.