Laid-off airport employee shares experience, as Nevada tops unemployment rate in the U.S.

LAS VEGAS, NV — The coronavirus pandemic has hit Nevada the most among the U.S., particularly when it comes to job loss.

More than 200 commercial casinos had to shut down and while they’ve since been reopened — experts said it could take up to 18 months to recover.

Almost 245,000 people lost work — accounting for the worst-ever unemployment rate in state history, at 28.2 percent in April.

Gerald Capulong, a father of 4, worked at the airport in the last five years.

With travel at a standstill amid the pandemic, he was laid off in April.

“Almost all of us (were laid off). There were only three workers left. Our company could even close.”

Capulong shared that his family has had to make a lot of lifestyle changes — with only having to rely on his unemployment checks and his wife’s salary.

“Before the pandemic, people accumulated a lot of debt, thinking that could be paid back. But when the crisis hit, you scramble to find the money. It’s a good thing there’s unemployment (benefits).”

But not all workers get unemployment benefits.

Nevada’s undocumented immigrant workers can neither get them nor are they eligible for pandemic stimulus checks.

The Pew Research Center estimated that in 2016, more than 1 in 10 of Nevada’s workers are undocumented — and a majority of them work in the leisure and hospitality industry.

For Capulong — documented or undocumented — this is really the time for workers to grab every opportunity to earn and bounce back from being unemployed.

“Persevere. Look for jobs. As long as you can do it, don’t be picky anymore.”

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    17 June 2020 at 5:15 pm - Reply

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