As Texas reopens, economists believe it'll bring more jobs. These are the gigs open now, and some pay $20 an hour.
- Hi, everyone, and thank you for joining us for our weekly virtual job fair with Workforce Solutions. Really appreciate you all being here. And, you know, I know it's a crazy time with the state fully reopening, and there's a lot of focus on the stimulus package and what's going on in DC, but we have a ton of jobs to get to today. We have more than 700 positions. So we're really hoping that if you're looking for a job out there that this is your opportunity. And it's a good opportunity to get your foot in the door, and get back to work, and start working on some of those skills that Michelle and I from Workforce Solutions talk about all the time. So let me bring in my partner in crime here.
- You know, [AUDIO OUT] a happy anniversary because you and I met one year ago today.
- I know, right? You were covering the closure of the rodeo shutting down. And you know, you reached out to me to find out what kind of assistance was available to all those people that were losing their jobs at the rodeo. And here we are one year later.
- I remember. And we were-- that was a time where it was very different. Could be inside the Workforce Solutions office, and talk to people. And it was very easy for me as a reporter to find people that were looking for work because you could go to the office and see them and talk to them and can't do them anymore. So we've had to adapt. It's been a crazy year but so thankful and grateful for the partnership we have with y'all and averaging, what, one person a week getting back to work?
- Exactly. We know-- we know that at least one person a week goes back to work with the jobs that we post here for the virtual job fair. And those are just the direct ones. We-- we also know that with all of the people that are calling in getting help, getting advice, they're moving on and finding jobs even sometimes on their own, which is great.
Because the jobs that we feature every week, we are looking to put people into quick hire positions, in other words, jobs that they can get into quickly and start earning a paycheck. But there are hundreds and thousands of jobs available.
The beauty of what's happening right now is that everything is trending in the right direction. You know, the last year's been stressful. It's been frightening. And at some point, it's been just downright depressing. But things are moving in the right direction, you know. The-- the COVID cases are trending downward. The vaccine is becoming more and more available.
But just like we have to remain vigilant in fighting the-- the virus, we really have to be vigilant to do all that we can right now to get a newer, better job because the economy is beginning to open up. But a couple of things happen. Every time there is a disruption in the economy, employers look to become more efficient. So what can they do to reduce costs? And oftentimes, that means automation and mechanization.
So throughout this pandemic, you and I have shown that there are jobs available. The difference is we saw that they are looking a little bit different. So whereas even we lost some of those retail jobs-- because again, we were all going home. We didn't need as much work clothes. But we've seen that the home improvement stores, for example, are picking up. And so we see that they have been hiring seasonal associates for some time.
So the jobs don't necessarily completely go away, but they morph into something different. So instead of being the food servers, now you have people that are going to work and doing the grocery store curbside pickup or doing the home deliveries. So you know, again, it's been scary. And we've heard a lot of doom and gloom.
But the fact of the matter is that really, what we see is more of a shift. And so we as the workers also need to make those shifts. And with the stimulus bill being almost-- hopefully it'll be signed tomorrow. And we'll get that relief package. And people will get a little bit more breathing room. It really is right now is the time to do everything that you can.
So you know, at Workforce Solutions, we talk to people day in and day out. And what we're starting to see is a little bit more of the stress and anxiety of "I need to go to work right now." And you know, we've been there. We are all real people.
We know what it's like to-- when that direct deposit doesn't hit your bank account anymore. And you know, with it being the one year, there are people right now who are hitting that 52-week limit. And so there is going to be some interruption in their payments between now and when that stimulus bill gets signed in.
So you know, you really don't want to put yourself in that situation because it limits your job options. You don't have the time to prepare a good solid resume. You're going to rush through the process. You're not going to leave yourself time to practice for the interview, and then you don't have the time to take advantage of the training, which is, again, going to limit your long-term potential.
So right now is absolutely the time to do everything that you can to land that new or better job. So we have job openings today. But also, don't forget. If you are going to be able to take advantage of the unemployment benefits that are lasting a little bit longer, and you don't want to limit yourself, take advantage of the training, you know.
We can help you get connected with all kinds of different training. It's never a one size fits all. And we always work from the philosophy of customer choice. So just because you see us talking a lot about the skilled trades, it doesn't mean you're limited to it. But if you are interested in that, absolutely we can help you get connected.
So a lot of fear, there's a whole lot of weirdness in this last year that's behind us now. But really, I can't say it enough. Now is the time that we really want to get down to business and work on taking advantage of every opportunity that we have to enhance our career, get back in the workforce, or if you're still in it, get an even better job so that as we continue to move through this pandemic and by the time that next set of benefits expires in September, you're going to be poised for success.
- I was going to ask you later, but since you brought it up. So if I'm watching this, and I'm on unemployment benefits, and I-- I now know I've got a safety net through September-- that's six months pretty much-- why then if that's going to be there, and I have six months to prepare, why would I want to start looking for a job? Why would now be the time when I've got that six-month buffer?
- Absolutely. I'm going to give you a really great example. And this is a real-world example from somebody I talked to this week. She lost her job and was eligible for unemployment benefits. But she did the math.
And quite frankly, going back to work was an absolute financial advantage to her mostly because of the benefits. So not only is she earning the income, but now she has the added value of paid vacation, of the health insurance, of access into a 401(k) with matching contributions. So there is wholeheartedly a financial benefit to it.
Secondly, you also want to remember that the longer you stay out of the workforce, the harder it is to get back into it. And that's for a couple of reasons. One, you-- the work continues to move forward. And when you are separated from the work, you're not practicing your skills. So your skills get dull.
We already talked about how employers in economic disruptions take advantage of automation and mechanization. So potentially, you're not learning those new advanced skills and those new advanced ways of doing that work. So again, now you're slipping a little bit further behind.
On top of that comes in the self-doubt. When you are looking for a job, it's already a blow to your ego because we so much identify who we are with the work that we do. And we'll talk a little bit more a little about that about separating that identity. But the fact of the matter is that we do. We associate a lot of who we are with the work that we do. And the longer you are away from that, the more your self-doubt grows.
So from the financial and emotional perspective, you absolutely want to get back into the workforce as quickly as you can. From the employer side, the other-- the-- you also want to look at it from their perspective. And what an employer sees when you are taking it-- going back to work even if you maybe can still survive on the unemployment benefits-- that's what they're meant to do. They're supposed to bridge the gap.
Even if you could survive on that, from an employer perspective, they appreciate the-- the initiative. They appreciate the fact that you are a go-getter. All of that helps you when you're competing.
Because again, it's a job market. It's a supply and demand. And for a while, we're going to continue to see that the supply-- it's going to be an imbalance. There's going to be more workers for every job opening at least for the short term. And so you want to be-- you want to be as competitive as you can be. So keeping current skills, demonstrating that you are a go-getter, that you're not going to be sitting around waiting for something to happen, all of that is absolutely in your favor.
- All right. So I know the past year I've learned a lot, especially the difference between TWC and Workforce Solutions. I know TWC handles the unemployment benefits. And they're-- they're kind of talking about that right now and the president's bill. But I know that you all help people get back to work. Give us an update if you could where we stand with the new job numbers that came out today.
- Yeah, absolutely. So you know, like we mentioned, throughout the pandemic employers have been hiring. Those jobs are shifting a little bit. But we are starting to see them come back online. And in fact, this morning with the claims report, we see that first-time claims for the week fell.
So that's, again, a really good sign. They're down to 709,000 so that they dropped about 47,000 claims. And then last week, we saw DOL, the US Department of Labor, released the February jobs report. And across the country, employers added 379,000 jobs in the month of February.
So again, indicators trending in the right direction. Things are looking good. So again, it looks good on the job side. So on the candidate side, we really want to emphasize that there is no time to waste. We really need everybody to, if you haven't already.