Nevada officials say the state unemployment rate is back up to 24.9%, with a wave of more than 18,000 people filing initial claims for benefits last week. The state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation said Friday the number of first-time unemployment benefit claims is approaching 600,000 following mid-March coronavirus closures. The troubled Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for self-employed and gig workers had more than 34,000 initial claims last week, up 74.2% from the week before. Nevada’s 29 new deaths since Thursday was the most announced in one day since the pandemic began. It brought the statewide total of deaths to at least 830.