RENO, Nev. (AP) — More than one-fourth of Nevada’s workforce is out of a job, with an April unemployment rate of 28.2% that's the worst in nation and the worst any state has seen since the national jobless rate was estimated at 25% in 1933 during the depths of the Great Depression, state officials said Friday.
“They are sobering numbers, far in excess of anything we have experienced as a state before now,” said David Schmidt, chief economist for the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.
Nevada has been hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic because so many of its jobs are tied to travel, tourism and hospitality industries, Schmidt said. He said Nevada’s accommodation and food service industry alone lost nearly 41% of its jobs compared with last April.
“Nevada now has the highest unemployment rate of any state, in any month, dating back to 1976 when consistent data became available," he told reporters during a teleconference.
Michigan has the second worst rate at 22.7%, followed by Hawaii at 22.3%.
Nevada’s unemployment rate was at an all-time-low of 3.6% in February. Casinos and other non-essential businesses have been closed since mid-March.
The U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday that about 20,000 more Nevada residents filed first-time unemployment claims last week, pushing the number of jobless claims filed since mid-March to almost one-third of the entire workforce in the state in February.