Job Center Sees Significant Increase in Demand
About half a million Minnesotans will no longer receive the additional $600 weekly federal unemployment benefits. The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) ended Saturday, leaving many people scrambling to find jobs. CareerForce, a job center located throughout Minnesota including Brooklyn Park, has seen an increase of 40,000 website visitors in the past month.
“A lot of people are coming to terms with the fact that they might not be going to their old jobs,” said Mike Lang, CareerForce director of employment services. “CareerForce will help determine how your skills from your old job transfers to new jobs that are constantly in demand during these times.”
While the current unemployment rate for Hennepin County is 9.8%, Lang said there’s hope because there are demand for workers. Minnesota reported adding 82,000 jobs last month. Lang said the CareerForce job center sees an average of 12,000 new job postings every week.
“When the jobs don’t come back as quickly as we’d like to, the situation tends to define us,” Lang said. “What we frequently find is people are most successful when they realize, the situation doesn’t define you. It’s your skills, your experience and your background that defines you and that’s what employers want to hear.”
Lang added that some jobs in demand include roles in health, restaurant and trucking.
Hennepin County is also working to provide emergency relief and recovery funding to businesses impacted by COVID-19. To date, the county has distributed about 985 grants to small businesses with less than 20 employees. Another round will be launched later this week.
The county is also working to prevent large scale renter evictions, primarily through an emergency rental assistance program. The board has approved $15 million for that effort so far.