Job Searching in a Pandemic


With unemployment claims making the news almost as often as surges in the coronavirus, what are local employment agencies doing to help job seekers find jobs? By Hannah Robertson.

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Heading into the world of job searching, can be stressful and frustrating. Even more so, when it feels like unemployment claims are rising faster than jobs are opening. So what are local employment agencies doing, to help people find the jobs they're looking for? You're watching The Local NEWS Network, brought to you by Serious Texas Bar-B-Q, and The Payroll Department. I'm Wendy Graham Settle. In February 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, reported a 6.2% unemployment rate in the United States. Almost twice the rate of unemployment, in February 2019.

Ya know, let's go back a year ago. In March, when everything all of a sudden started shutting down, we were able to flip very quickly to totally online. Per protocols, we locked our door. I did have one staffing consultant who worked from home, for a period. It was myself and Tony. We were the only two in the office. We did everything, all of our interviews, all of our paperwork, everything was done over phone, or Zoom calls. What we saw in our business, is we lost a good portion of our business, because a lot of what we do is non-essential. So these are the people that were working in an office, clerical, accounting, those type of positions. But, you know, the construction trades, those central businesses that we do have as clients, stayed very busy, pretty much, throughout this entire time.

As companies and businesses made the shift from in-person working to remote working, hiring freezes stopped many job seekers cold, as businesses waited to see what the pandemic would bring.

Finding individuals that are willing to work, during the COVID, I think, as everybody knows, between all of the unemployment, and the funds the government was putting out, that put a severe dent in the pool that's out there, willing to work. But then again, you saw a different mindset. So you have individuals that reevaluate what they're doing, and do they want to continue doing that? Do they want to relocate, either, from here, or to here? Do they want to work in an environment, where there is a lot of foot traffic?

As of March 2021, Colorado's unemployment rate was 6.4%, slightly higher than the national average. But unemployment agency owners, like Whitson, are optimistic.

So we knew that, again, the recruiting challenge is back upon us, with the same issues all over again. Ya know, do they want to relocate? We are seeing an influx of people looking, relocating here. We're also seeing people leave. They're going back home to their families, wherever they originally came from. And then we're also seeing people that are being very cautious, getting back into the workforce, or they're not, they don't want to do, what they did before. They want to do something else. So we're looking at their skillset, and can we transfer them into something else?

If you're looking for a job, Express Employment Professionals, is hiring. Visit, for current listings. Thanks for watching this edition of the Local NEWS Network. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.


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