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Nevada employment office gives weekly update

Updated July 10, 2020 - 6:14 pm

Nevada’s employment office hosted its weekly media briefing Friday and, though it ended abruptly because of technical difficulties, the department issued updated claims data and touched on the technical glitches faced by some filers.

Held by Employment Security Division Administrator Kimberly Gaa and Chief Economist David Schmidt, it’s the second week the pair hosted the news conference following the departure of former DETR Director Heather Korbulic last month.

Schmidt said the department has paid more than $4.3 billion across both the regular and federally funded unemployment insurance programs since the start of the pandemic.

“This dollar amount is significantly above the total for all of the benefits paid in both regular and extended-benefit programs in both 2009 and 2010 combined,” he said.

There have been a total of 562,486 initial claims this year through the week ending July 4, and 540,834 of those new claims were filed since the week ending March 14.

For the week ending July 4, the department reported 12,484 new claims, a roughly 12 percent increase from the previous week.

Schmidt said the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, the federal provision giving unemployment benefits to independent contractors and self-employed workers, has seen 307,749 new claims this year through Friday. He added that as of July 6, about 90 percent of those claimants, or 275,725 people, have filed a weekly claim.

The total number of benefits that have been paid out to PUA filers as of Thursday is $1.02 billion, according to Schmidt.

Gaa said the department has received questions over issues with the PUA website, which occurred June 27 and June 28.

She said an estimated 1,000 filers were incorrectly shown a notification on their account to file a new claim.

“We have identified these accounts, and DETR has worked closely with our vendor on addressing this access issue,” she said. “We can confirm that no claim information was lost. These claims should now be fully restored for full availability. … Contact the Alorica call center if they’re still unable to access.”

Gaa seemed to be ending the briefing, but the audio and then the video feed stopped. After nearly a minute of silence, an individual who did not identify himself said the department was working through technical difficulties.

“They were winding down. I do believe they were finished,” he said. “I want to thank you all for your time today, and we will have things up and running a bit better next Friday.”

Contact Subrina Hudson at shudson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0340. Follow @SubrinaH on Twitter.

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