community stories for southern Nevada

Posts Tagged ‘unemployment’

Stimulus jobs missing states that need it most–like Nevada

A story in the New York Times indicated that the federal stimulus package hasn’t created many jobs in states hit hardest by unemployment.

Businesses with federal stimulus contracts have created few jobs in states with the worst unemployment rates, according to data released Thursday by the federal government.

The new jobs reported (reported here) come from a small slice of a sliver of the $787 billion stimulus program: the roughly $16 billion worth of stimulus contracts that were awarded directly by federal agencies, of which about $2.2 billion has been spent so far. But the preliminary data represented the first time that the federal government has reported actual job figures, and not just job estimates, and they provided the most complete snapshot yet of how one component of the sprawling program — direct federal contracts — was shaping up.

One thing was clear: while the federal contracts have created or saved 30,383 jobs, they were not directed to states with the highest jobless rates. Businesses in Michigan, whose 15.2 percent unemployment rate in August was the highest in the nation, reported creating or saving about 400 jobs. Businesses in Nevada, which had the next highest unemployment rate, reported 159. And businesses in Rhode Island, which had the third-highest unemployment rate, 12.8 percent, reported the fewest jobs: just six.

The Review-Journal had its own story:

Nevada’s unemployment of 13.2 percent is the nation’s second-worst jobless rate. But the Silver State’s $57.4 million share of federal-contract money represents 2.6 percent of the total awarded nationwide, while North Dakota, where unemployment is just 4.3 percent, received 4.3 percent of funds granted. Its $96 million in contracts was almost twice the dollars Nevada companies collected.

What’s more, North Dakota reported creating or saving 219 jobs, while Nevada businesses formed or spared 159 jobs. Nevada has roughly five times the population of North Dakota.

Colorado, which has a jobless rate of 7.3 percent, received 26.5 percent of dollars awarded so far, with $583 million in contracts


Seniors dipping into Social Security

Job losses have pushed seniors to claim early retirement benefits, the AP reports. And this snip from an article in the Money Times.

For the time, in close to three decades, the Social Security will be compelled to dole out more in benefits than it collects in taxes during the next coupe of years.

The reason is huge job losses and an increase in the early retirement claims from laid-off people. For the time, in close to three decades, the Social Security will be compelled to dole out more in benefits than it collects in taxes during the next coupe of years.

The reason is huge job losses and an increase in the early retirement claims from laid-off people.


Fantasy loan-mod football

Last week I blogged about Bobbi Giguere, the 41 year-old single mom who had the unusual opportunity to grill a Wells Fargo Exec in court about her stalled loan modification. Giguere had been working “through the system” for months, and getting nowhere (…well, she was actually headed somewhere….While Wells Fargo strung her along, the company was simultaneously moving to foreclose on her home…!) At her wits end, Giguere wrote to her bankruptcy judge and ended up getting to do what thousands of frustrated consumers can only dream about. Confront someone in charge:

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Bobbi Giguere joined us today on KNPR’s State of Nevada to continue the conversation. We were also joined by Nevada Bankers Association president Bill Uffelman, and Bill Buzenberg, Executive Director of the Center for Public Integrity:

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Drops from the ocean, into the bucket. New jobs in Las Vegas….

With unemployment 13.4%, any new jobs in Vegas are good jobs in Vegas. Last week, we heard about the bleak prospects on KNPR’s State of Nevada–a discussion with two LA Times writers about people who are currently looking for work in Las Vegas.

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But yesterday in Vegas we had a little bit o’ good news: A story about the chosen few among some 160,000 applicants who went after jobs at city center. On hand at the MGM Mirage press event were (of course) select hires, including 23 year-old Mollie Ehrman. Ehrman was profiled in yesterday’s Las Vegas Sun article about the new hires.

Ehrman received a job offer for a salon receptionist position at Aria at CityCenter’s employment center. The recent college graduate and soon-to-be Ohio transplant has been working at an Ohio department store, but today marks the start of her first “big girl job,” as she called it.

“Everything’s changing,” Ehrman said “Everything’s brand new.”

CityCenter began making employment offers to hundreds of workers Monday in preparation for the project’s opening later this year, bringing hope to those who have been unemployed and new opportunities for others looking to make a change.

The $8.5 billion complex on the Las Vegas Strip was extending offers to between 500 and 700 people on Monday. Most employees filling the remainder of the 12,000 jobs will receive offers of employment by the end of the month.

 


Vegas jobless rate hits a new record…

…of 13.4%…Yikes!

Add to that number the estimated underemployed people in the city, and it’s likely that one-quarter of Las Vegas working people are struggling to make ends meet.

Yesterday on State of Nevada, we talked about the human cost of a city full of people looking for work. And the contrast between now and yesterday, when Las Vegas was a wellspring of employment opportunity. Guests included a pair of LA Times writers, and I played interview tape from a job fair at the Hard Rock Casino in June. The desperation among many in line was palpable then. I can only imagine what it is now.

You can listen to the segment here. And we’d love it, if you’d share your story of looking for work here.

And here’s a snip from an article on the new jobless rate in today’s Las Vegas Sun:

The jobless rate in the Las Vegas area continued at a record pace in August with unemployment in the gaming and construction industries on the rise.

The department said the unemployment rate in the Las Vegas area reached 13.4 percent with an estimated 135,100 workers out of a job. That surpasses the record 13.1 percent set in July.

The state’s unemployment rate rose to 13.2 percent with an estimated 182,600 persons jobless.

“Taken as a whole, conditions have deteriorated markedly,” says William Anderson, chief economist for the state’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.


This morning on KNPR’s State of Nevada

Las Vegas has the worst housing market in the country; casinos and construction companies are slashing jobs. Among the thousands of Californians who flocked to Las Vegas during the boom times, many are now headed home. And thousand of un (or under) employed people are scouring the city to find work.

Today, producer Adam Burke joined Dave Berns on SoN, as part of KNPR’s continuing coverage of the economy in southern Nevada, and the continuation of our series: Belonging Las Vegas.

We discussed the current state of employment (and unemployment) with Ashley Powers and Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times. They wrote an excellent two-part series on the economic meltdown in southern Nevada. She focused on the people who are looking for work in Vegas, in a piece called: Vegas Dreamers Go All In. A follow-up story on the Vegas economy, is called Luck runs out on Vegas boom.

Adam shared some of the stories he’s been hearing from people who are desperately looking for work, and played audio he gathered at a job fair at the Hard Rock Casino in June.

The segment ran between 10 and 10:30 am PST. You can listen here:

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Rural America Hit Hard By Recession…

From the website Daily Yonder:

Declining housing prices, combined with a sharp rise in high-cost loans, were important factors in the recent mortgage and foreclosure crisis that has affected metro and non-metro housing markets alike. The most recent data show that non-metro residents were slightly more likely than metro residents to have obtained high-cost loans just prior to the recession.

Full story is here.


Newly poor in Nevada…

People are struggling across the country, and around the world…..

not homeless

This is the story of a chance encounter between two women. It was a moment that changed the lives of one family, very much for the better:

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