LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Starting this week, Nevadans on unemployment benefits will need to prove they actively are looking for work.
The work search requirement, which was suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic, was reinstated by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) with the goal of getting more people back in the workforce.
But more and more local employers said they are having a hard time getting prospective employees to come in for their interviews, or follow up with an email explaining why they couldn't make it. After reaching out to DETR, we learned there is no oversight on the topic of interview activity, which employers said is creating an unfair loophole, and a "disconnect" for businesses like theirs.
"It's really hard to understand to be honest with you," said Jason Terry, owner of Revere Mechanical, an HVAC and plumbing company in Las Vegas. "They're following up, they're saying we're gonna be there. We confirm that they're coming, they ask for the address, they actually respond to the confirmation, and then they just don't show up."
He said the same is true for about 15 out of every 20 applicants.
"Recently it just seems like everybody says that there's people looking for work. But our experience, when we're putting these applications out or ads out for positions, they're not really coming in like we thought they would," said Terry.
Henderson Pet Resort is another company facing the same issue.
"We schedule these interviews, and we're finding about eight out of 10 of them don't show up," said Leslea Villigan, owner of Henderson Pet Resort.
Employers want DETR to add a component that would make job seekers accountable so that their time and resources aren't continuously wasted.
"Perhaps they can follow up with the candidate and say, maybe you need a validated interview. It's taking business time away," said Villigan.
"Claimants can report interviews as work search activities. Outside of that, we don't track interview activity," said Rosa Mendez, spokesperson for DETR. "Employers should provide information regarding employment refusals or employees who refuse an offer to return to work by emailing our business service office at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line 'Work Refusals.'"
Distance and hybrid schooling may be a contributing factor as some sources said it's causing child care issues for some. Affordability of transportation could be another barrier at play.
An unemployed member of the live events industry, and a vocal opponent of the work search requirement, said the work search requirement just isn't a fair standard to hold people to, especially those who have been displaced from industries due COVID-19 that have yet to return.
"To think that you can just take any job is a big misnomer," said Marianne Leblanc, a veteran live events professional. "There are businesses where they would normally find work from, that are still not up and running."