The interviews we added today are both from Nevada where the statewide rate of unemployment is 14.2 percent, the highest rate in the country. In the Las Vegas metropolitan area where we conducted all of our Nevada interviews, the unemployment rate is 15 percent.
Anthony Lalos – Thirteen years ago, he moved to booming Las Vegas from California. He successfully sold cars, then manufactured homes and, finally, time shares. When the economy soured and discretionary spending evaporated, he lost his full-time job. Over the past 2 1/2 years, he has also lost his home and all his savings. Although he retains his optimism about the future, the overwhelming number of job seekers in Las Vegas has made it almost impossible for Anthony to find any work at all.
Edward Walker – Orphaned at 11 years old, Edward was sent from Cleveland, Ohio to live with family in Mississippi, where he was one of the first three black students to desegregate Benton High School in Benton, Miss. He learned to cook when he served in the U.S. Army for three years in the early 1980s. After working in many kitchens and overcoming drug abuse, he was awarded a scholarship to attend Le Cordon Bleu College in Las Vegas. By the time he graduated, the recession had begun, and he was unable to find a full-time position. He has survived on short-term, low-paying jobs and unemployment.
Note: When we arrived at the Las Vegas Nevada JobConnect office on Monday, Nov. 8, it was jammed with job seekers. They waited to see counselors, scanned the printouts of job postings tacked up to the walls and lined up to use the facility’s computers, copiers and fax machines.
Nishan Burton, office manager, could not have been more helpful to us, but she and the rest of the staff, clearly have little time for anything but trying to help the overwhelming number of unemployed Nevadans find jobs.