LAS VEGAS (NewsNation Now) — About one in 10 people are out of work in the Las Vegas area. On the Las Vegas Strip, it is bright as ever, but there is no hustle and bustle compared to pre-pandemic times.
And in the neighborhoods off the strip — you can tell right away it is ground zero in America’s unemployment nightmare.
Teresa Parga lives less than a mile from the strip.
She was a taxi dispatcher, but lost her job in April.
“I get by on unemployment, food banks, and my family My kids have supported me the most through the whole time. I feel bad because they are my kids and they shouldn’t be helping me. I should be helping them,” Page said.
Parga’s boyfriend Edwin Serrano, who was a chef, was also laid off.
“The same thing happened to me that happened to everyone. As soon as they heard they were closing the city, they closed the store. Domino effect. Everything closed,” Parga said.
Serrano said 90% of his friends and family in the area were also laid off from jobs.
Michelle Fite was trying to repair her broken down truck in the neighborhood.
She was also laid off.
“I was busy all the time. I used to work 12-hour shifts, six days a week. Now I am down to zero. My unemployment is finished out and I have no money,” Fite said.
Fite worked dry cleaning casino employees uniforms before she lost her job.
She has been following the stimulus bill.
“I don’t understand how they can’t get it together like and do the math. Either figure it out or figure out a plan. I don’t understand why they keep going back and forth. I have a negative opinion about the whole situation. I think giving out free money is not right either. I don’t know what kind of outcome it is going to be,” Fite said.
Fite said she needs help but doesn’t like the idea of free money.
“They are handing out money to people who don’t deserve it. Everyone is getting food stamps and I can’t even get food stamps. It’s weird. And I worked,” Fite said.
There were just about a dozen Christmas trees left at a local tree stand off the strip.
On Tuesday night, Fernando Galvin and his girlfriend Adrianna Bradley were buying one of the last trees.
They didn’t think they would be able to afford a tree, but Galvin sold his snowboard to pay for it.
“The circumstances. I’m a truck driver. I lost my job. The construction industry slowed down,” Galvin said.
Galvin is also following the stimulus bill developments.
“I feel like they should keep it at home. Keep it in the U.S. There are other countries suffering. But we are suffering too. The Americans are suffering. Understandable, we are the richest nation. We do help out third world countries. But in this sense, we are becoming a third world country. We need the relief and we need it now,” Galvin said.
Relief is desperately needed at a homeless camp that has grown in size a few miles from the strip.
Anthony Davis lives in a tent there.
He said finding a job is nearly impossible.
“How hard is it to find a job? How hard is it to thread a chain through a needed? There is nothing out there,” Davis said.
Making matters worse in Nevada, the state’s unemployment system has run out of money and they are now having to borrow money from the federal government to make payments.