After the Nevada Legislature approved a plan to pay about $17 million in interest owed on loans from the federal government, employers in the state were told they would be billed an average of $25 per employee per year to help cover the bill.
Nevada’s economy tanked during the recession and the estimated $800 million in the unemployment insurance account was quickly depleted by paying out jobless benefits. In order to keep paying regular unemployment benefits, the state had to take out loans from the federal government beginning in 2009.
According to Administrator Renee Olson of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, the current balance on those loans is about $560 million, CBS Local reported.
Despite the hefty bill, the state is showing signs of recovery. Joblessness in Las Vegas fell to 9.3 percent, down from 9.6 percent in April and 11.4 percent in May 2013
“Cautious optimism in Nevada’s economy is attracting more people into the labor force as May marks the fourth consecutive month of [work force] expansion,” said Bill Anderson, chief economist for the employment department. “The fact that our labor force is growing and the ranks of the unemployed are shrinking is a good indicator that Nevada is gaining momentum.”
That does not mean there is not still more work to do.
“May’s unemployment rate coupled with a decrease in initial unemployment insurance claims suggests that job losses in Nevada are easing,” said Gov. Brian Sandoval. “However, even though employment so far this year is nearly 25,000 jobs higher than a year ago, the pace of hiring activity remains cautious. While the decrease in the unemployment rate is encouraging, we must continue our work to diversify our economy and create new private sector jobs.”