LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A year after the state's shutdown and record unemployment in Nevada and Las Vegas, the director of the state's unemployment agency says 150,000 jobs have not returned to the Valley.

In 2020, Las Vegas unemployment hit 34%. The state hit a record at 28.8%. Unemployment sits at 8.1% for Nevada, and 9.9% in the Las Vegas area. 

Nevada job growth increases in June, unemployment rate falls

A person fills out an application (FOX5).

In Las Vegas, 109,974 people still have no jobs. That number is 130,563 people  statewide. Cafferata said 150,000 jobs have not returned to the Valley.

"It's so discouraging to apply for hundreds of jobs and not get a response," DETR Director Elisa Cafferata said. "People should be really starting to think, 'Now I've just passed my one year... is my job coming back? or do I need to retrain?'" she said. 

The latest unemployment benefits package expires in September. New federal guidelines will require DETR to contact claimants to help them connect to job programs and training resources. 

Since the week ending March 14, 2020, 878,734 initial claims have been filed for UI.  

For PUA, 1,098,849 initial claims have been filed. 

There are still 40,000 complex claims in a backlog from fall 2020, with 30,000 for PUA. 

Some claimants are still experiencing delays receiving their benefits from Congress' December stimulus package. 

"We're doing what we can to speed up the process in all the different places we have folks waiting for an answer," Cafferata said. 

"It's been good to see Congress extend these programs, but every time they've done it, it's required new computer programming for us. That requires us to go in and look at every single week of every single claim. It's very time consuming. it seems like it should be easy, but it's not," she said. 

Changes that are forthcoming include the site shutting down nightly, from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., to implement more technical changes for users.

There's hopes for federal funding to update DETR's website and merge PUA and UI into one program. 

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