ILLINOIS — Though unemployment remains at historic highs, both in Illinois — where 46,000 new claims were filed last week — and nationally — where a 13.3 percent rate rivals unemployment seen during the Great Depression — a surprise drop in the national unemployment rate Friday signals that many employers are starting to rehire workers.
Here are a couple ways to find those jobs.
If you live in the south suburbs, or are willing to commute, here are some jobs posted in Patch's classified section. The listings include office coordinators, delivery drivers, gardeners, security officers and auto detailers. (If you're a small business owner in Illinois, you can post your own job openings on Patch. Here are instructions.)
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The state has also launched Get Hired Illinois, a new website with more than 60,000 job postings. According to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, the site will feature free vocational courses and virtual job fairs over the coming weeks.
"The financial stability and success of our residents is key to getting Illinois' economy back on its feet," Pritzker said earlier this month. "Illinois won't be restored until our workers and families have the opportunities and resources they need to build and fill their lives. That's why my administration is working with businesses and industries across the state to encourage more employers to utilize the Get Hired website."
Of course, the employment site Indeed.com has scores of job listings. You can search for local job openings on Indeed here.
Some of the jobs you'll find are with Amazon. The online retailer is hiring summer warehouse workers in Crest Hill, Joliet, Romeoville, Lisle, Wheaton, Elmhurst, and Orland Park as online shopping continues to surge during the pandemic. FedEx is also hiring package handlers, the United States Postal Service is looking for carrier assistants, and — perhaps, ironically — the Illinois Department of Employment Security is looking for workers to process unemployment claims.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is hiring doctors, disease specialists and contact tracers en masse to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The listings are worth a look, even if you're not a doctor or a specialist. For example, contact tracers, who are just required to have a bachelor's degree and a positive attitude, are being hired to call every person who has been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus. So, if you can use a phone, read a script and manage Microsoft Office, you're probably qualified.
The CDC says it may hire up to 300,000 contact tracers nationwide, and the pay goes up to $65,000 a year.