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Clark County jobless claims drop by 36 percent

Initial unemployment claims data released Thursday show more local workers are continuing to lose their jobs, but at a decreasing rate.

Last week, another 3,707 Clark County workers told the state they are out of work and need to collect unemployment benefits.

That’s a 36 percent decrease in the number of new claims compared to the week prior, suggesting that local layoffs and furloughs may have peaked. But it’s still 10 times greater than initial claims filed in a typical week before COVID-19 and the resulting business closures infected the local labor market.

Between March 15 and April 18, initial unemployment insurance claims have totaled 33,637 in Clark County. Regional labor economist Scott Bailey said earlier this week he expects Clark County’s labor market to show double-digit unemployment when April statistics are compiled.

Until the crisis, unemployment had been near historic lows for months. Seasonally unadjusted jobs in Clark County hit 172,100 in March.

Initial unemployment claims also fell statewide last week. Thursday’s report reflected a 42 percent decrease in initial claims, which was better than in Clark County.

Thursday’s report breaks down the local suffering by sector. Food service workers filed the most claims last week, totaling 303. Ambulatory health care service workers filed 247 claims, and specialty trade contractors filed 200 claims.

Another 1,219 claims were filed by workers whose employment category was not disclosed. Most of them are Clark County residents who work out-of-state.

The Employment Security Department on Thursday also released demographic information about Clark County residents who filed for unemployment benefits:

• More women than men have filed for unemployment since March 1: 16,371 to 13,830. In addition, 84 nonbinary people filed for unemployment.

• People with a high school diploma or a GED filed the largest number of unemployment claims at 10,060. The next largest group, people who have some college coursework, filed 3,470 claims. Bachelor’s degree holders filed 3,368 claims.

• Unemployment seems to be affecting younger workers more. Workers ages 25 to 34 filed 8,188 claims. The next largest cohort, 35 to 44, filed 6,158 claims, according to the data.


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