The Las Vegas area has a 9.4% unemployment rate, nearly double the national figure of 5.4%, yet many businesses say they can’t find workers.
Some blame the $300 a week in additional federal unemployment for keeping people from seeking work. That argument will be put to the test a week from today when those expanded benefits expire.
Toni Breedlove, a recruiter for MV Transportation, said the Las Vegas culture adds to the challenges she faces as an outside employment-services contractor for the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada.
“When I first came here to Las Vegas, I noticed that the work ethic was so much different. People don't want to put the hard work in anymore,” she said. “They think that things come easy.”
Joe Sharpe, project director for the federally funded One-Stop Career Center, said his clients are looking for work but are making sure the fit is good.
“I want to be clear that a lot of the people that come to our centers are looking for work; they are actively engaged, actively interested,” he told State of Nevada, “but they have a lot of questions. They want to know what type of work it will be, what's the company like.”
Latin Chamber of Commerce President Peter Guzman said pandemic-related government benefits, like the soon-to-expire boost to unemployment payments, make it harder to find workers.
“A lot of them think now that they're competing against the U.S. government and the ability of the U.S. government to print unlimited sums of money,” said Guzman, who counts many small businesses among the chamber’s 1,500 members.
Peter Guzman, president, Latin Chamber of Commerce; Toni Breedlove, recruiter, MV Transportation; Jeremy Aguero, principal analyst, Applied Analysis, Joe Sharpe, project director, Equus Workforce Solutions