Despite record unemployment numbers in America due to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are still looking for workers as revealed in a recent market analysis of the last 30 days from Express Employment Professionals.
Illinois boasts the largest number of job openings through Express at 749, followed by Texas (706), California (553), Tennessee (541), and Pennsylvania (529).
Rounding out the top 10 states are Ohio (481), Missouri (452), Wisconsin (408), Georgia (345), Florida (329), and Minnesota (329).
In Illinois, where only essential businesses are permitted to operate until June 1 due to shelter-at-home orders, it’s remarkable that companies are still on the hunt for talent.
“Overall, we seem to have stopped the slide and have even inched the needle north a little,” said Richard Yoerk, Express franchise owner in Champaign, IL. “I think it is far too soon to tell if we are out of the woods yet, but we are optimistic that we’ll make it out of this just fine.”
Available positions at the Champaign office include building food baskets for regional food banks, working in food manufacturing facilities, assembly and distribution, sanitizer production, injection molding, and delivery drivers.
Clients have remained open during this time by adding personnel and shifting gears on production Yoerk added. One company added hand sanitizer to their line and manufactures the product six days a week. A local cap and gown company converted to making face masks to help fight the pandemic.
“We are focusing on aligning as much of the workforce and our clients as possible for the state reopening,” Yoerk said. “We hope to come out of this crisis stronger than when we entered it.”
In Oxnard, CA, Express franchise owner Neil McMillan said his office’s job openings are mainly for essential positions, such as aerospace electronic techs, machine operators, welders, food sorters, and forklift drivers. He’s grateful to see signs of things picking back up.
“Business slowed down significantly at the outset of the stay-at-home orders, but has stabilized now,” he added.
The Morristown, TN, Express office currently has 97 available jobs and never saw a drop in business thanks to some creativity and persistence.
“Over the past eight weeks since COVID-19 began, we have partnered with our current clients and provided them with custodians and temperature takers to protect our workers and keep businesses open in Morristown,” said Morristown Express franchise manager Sarah Bowman. “We learned that while not all businesses were as proactive or willing to take these extra measures, the ones who did remain open and operational during a very uncertain time in the country.”
Bowman added that her office did everything they could to be a resource for local businesses, including hosting educational webinars and spotlighting them on social media.
One of their greatest successes and innovations was their first-ever drive-through applicant process where job seekers never had to leave their vehicle to apply.
“This practice limited the potential risk of infection to all parties involved,” Bowman said. “By implementing these extra measures, it provided a lot of comfort to job seekers and our staff knowing that their health and wellbeing is our main focus.”
Looking back, Bowman says sheer determination played a large role in not only surviving as a business during this pandemic but providing hope through employment–safely.
“I believe we have jobs available because we made the conscious decision in March that we would do everything in our power to defeat this and overcome the obstacles,” she said. “The team in Morristown has worked tirelessly to keep our clients on the books and our workers safe and healthy.”
As states begin to lift restrictions on businesses reopening, Express CEO Bill Stoller says he is encouraged by the number of job openings increasing from even just a few weeks ago.
“Week-over-week, we continue to see things improve and hope to see this pattern continue while keeping workers safe,” he said. “I applaud all of our offices that never gave up on responsibly putting people to work so they can put food on the table.”