|Employment Security Division|
NEVADA EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DIVISION
The basic responsibilities of the Employment Security Division has changed little over the last almost a century of service to Nevadans. The emphasis has changed from time to time as the national government or state government has changed their policies on how to tackle employment and unemployment over the years.
For the Centennial celebration of the State in 1964 each department was encouraged to write an administrative history and the one written for the then Employment Security Department was extensive. At that time the main responsibilities of the department were to assist workers in finding employment at their highest skills and to pay unemployment compensation benefits to qualified individuals who are involuntarily unemployed. The administrative costs of the Employment Security Department have always been largely funded by the Federal Government.
In 1923 the State of Nevada established through legislation a free employment service program. The program set up public employment offices under the supervision of the State Labor Commissioner and created a free state employment fund. Its function was to provide employment information and opportunities through cooperation with the United States Free Employment Service.
The term Free Employment Service is important because it emphasizes this as a government program differing from the private employment services that charged job seekers. The Nevada Labor Commissioner had warned the Nevada Legislature as early as 1917 about the abuses and inadequacies of private fee-charging employment offices. Already functioning in the state was a Federal Free Employment office.
In further regulation of fee employment services the Nevada Legislature in 1931 enacted a law empowering the Labor Commissioner to deny a license to an employment agency when a community was being adequately served by a free employment service.
With the coming of the New Deal at the beginning of the Roosevelt administration a federal employment service was established by the Wagner-Peyser Act in 1933. This act established the United States Employment Service as a division of the Federal Department of Labor. The Nevada State Employment Service was affiliated with the new federal employment service and became fully federally funded. With the Social Security Act of 1935 the functions of the employment service were enlarged because this federal legislation required that states pay unemployment benefits through a state public employment office. In 1937, the Nevada Legislature passed an Unemployment Compensation Law providing for a compulsory system of unemployment insurance. The Nevada Unemployment Compensation Division started operating under the State Labor Commissioner as a coordinate division with the State Employment Service.
In 1941 the State Legislature combined the Employment Service and the Unemployment Compensation Division into a single agency by creating the Employment Security Department under the supervision of an executive director. The executive director was to be assisted in formulating policy by an Employment Security Advisory Council consisting of nine individuals appointed by the Governor. The Department was officially divided into two services, the Nevada State Employment Service and the Nevada Unemployment Compensation Service.
This set up did not last long as later in the year World War II broke out. The State Employment Service was transferred to the Federal Government and all governmental employment activities became part of the War Manpower Commission. Not until 1946 where state employment policies were returned to the State of Nevada. This return from direct federal supervision came with a six point program promulgated by the United States Employment Service for a plan of operations. These major features of the plan included placement services, employment counseling and selective placement, services to special applicant groups including veterans, management services, labor market information and community participation.
In 1948 Nevada took on the responsibility of seasonal farm labor placement and a Farm Labor Advisory Council composed of five members was created for the purpose of assuring continuing evaluation of the Farm Placement Program. Four years later in 1952 the Employment Security Department was reorganized to make coordination between the two services easier and to allow for a unified single chain of command. A 1960 reorganization created two new positions of Employment Service Director and Unemployment Compensation Service Director and appropriate program units were brought under these two positions.
By the 1960s the State Employment Service’s duties included those enumerated under the six point program of 1946. The Unemployment Compensation Service was charged with making unemployment compensation benefit programs to persons who were out of work. There were three permanent unemployment insurance programs: state programs based on state law for workers in commerce and industry, a program based on federal law for civilian employees, and a program for ex-serviceman based on federal law. Employers were required to file contribution and wage reports and to pay contributions for each calendar quarter of the year. These quarterly reports, organized industry and by county, were used in annual reports to enumerate the number of employees by industry in the State of Nevada.
In 1964 the two divisions of the Employment Security Department were divided administratively into units. The Employment Service Division had the following units; Field Supervision, Defense Mobilization, Manpower Development and Placement and Special Services. The Unemployment Compensation Service Division units were contributions and benefits. The Department had a central state administrative office in Carson City and local offices around the state whose administrative functions mirrored the state office. The Veterans Employment Service functioned with cooperation from the United States Department of Labor. There were also two related councils who were appointed by the Governor, the Employment Security Council and the Farm Labor Advisory Council.
By 1968 the Employment Security Department had grown and a third grouping was added to the Employment and the Unemployment Compensation Service. This third service was the Administrative and included the Data Processing section. The 1975 report of the Department showed a name change of the Employment Service Division, it was now called Manpower Services. Under this division were the following units, Employer Service Program, Work Incentive Program, Job Corps, Youth Employment Service, and Rural Manpower Services. The Unemployment Compensation Service stayed with the same units as previously. The Administrative Services Division had the following units, Automatic Data Processing, Financial Management, Management Analyses, Manpower Information and Research, Personnel and Training, and Office Services.
Ten years later in 1984 Manpower Services Division had undergone a more name changes. First it went back to the Employment Service Division and then became the Job Service Division. Under this Division were the following units, Work Incentive Program, Food Stamp Program, Job Corps, Targeted Jobs Tax Credit Program, and the Dislocated Worker Program. This Division had further name changes and returned by 1990 to its previous moniker the Employment Service Division.
In 1993 the Employment Security Department was merged with other Departments and became a Division under the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation which is its current status. Currently there is still an Employment Security Council that is appointed by the Governor as well as the administrative functions of employment service and unemployment compensation.
Among the employer services provided by the Employment Security Division is the Rapid Response Program that assists employers if they must lay off employees or shut down their business. Employers notify the Program at least 60 days prior to the layoffs and the Rapid Response Program staff appears at an employee meeting when the layoffs or the shutdown is announced. Program staff briefs the affected employees on their rights and provides information about retraining and other employment opportunities.
The Veterans Employment Service affiliates with the Nevada JobConnect system. Veterans representatives are located in most Nevada JobConnect offices and the services provided include job search workshops, assessment and guidance, and labor market information.
In 1998 the United States Congress passed the Workforce Investment Act. Its object was to build workforce investment systems that would improve delivery of employment services. The goal is to increase the employment, retention and earning of participants and increase occupational skill levels. Under this act each state established a State Workforce Investment Board to bring businesses and workers together to strategize to meet workforce needs. The act also called for local workforce investment boards to set policy locally. Nevada has two boards, the Southern Nevada Workforce Investment Board called Workforce Connections and the Northern Nevada Workforce Investment Board called Nevada Works.
Since 1923 the Employment Security Division has continued its mandate of providing job information to generations of Nevadans and to administer the federal unemployment compensation for those Nevadans who are not voluntarily out of work.
Bottom: Employment Security Department employees Peter M. Crow (with coat) and Wendell Taylor (white shirt) check work forms for extras for the movie The Misfits in Dayton, August 1960. ESD-0070. John Nulty photo courtesy of the Nevada State Library and Archives.
Description of Records
Administrative Files—2.5 cubic feet 1959-2003
Public Information Officer Files
Governor’s Manpower Conferences
Governor’s Board of Review for the Nevada Employment Security Department
Employment Security Advisory Council
Veterans Program Correspondence
Rapid Response Program
Area Reports—17 cubic feet 1960-1989
Quarterly Reports by County of Businesses that contribute to the Unemployment Compensation Service of the Employment Security Division
Photographs--.5 cubic feet
Employment Security Department Executive Directors