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One employment agency is having to adapt to scams

The good news is Las Vegas’ unemployment rate is dropping. The bad news is that’s because thousands of Las Vegans have stopped looking for work.

And that’s causing quite a problem for some of the Valley’s employment agencies—many “job seekers” are actually just wasting the agencies’ time, not showing up for job interviews and collecting unemployment checks as they go through the motions to prove to the state they’re still on the hunt.

Emmy Jean Timko, the general manager and co-owner of Century Employment Agency, decided to do something about it. Before she’ll start looking for work for anyone, she first collects a $100 “deposit,” which is refunded if work cannot be found (or, if work is found, put toward her company’s fee). She’s been in business here 30 years, and started the deposit program two years ago after witnessing abuses first-hand.

“I’d say 80 percent of the people who come through this office are using it as a scam,” Timko says. “There’s a lot of jobs out there, believe you me, but this country is making it too easy for people to be unemployed.”

The deposit works more from a psychological standpoint, she says. “If you know I have your money, you’re going to be calling me every day. Having people’s money drives them crazy.”

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Weekly's associate editor, having previously served as assistant features editor at the Las Vegas Sun ...

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