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As the Coronavirus shutdown sends unemployment soaring in Minnesota, who is hiring?

Last week, I wrote about how the Coronavirus shutdown is wreaking havoc on Minnesota’s economy. Between March 16th and the 24th, Minnesota has received nearly 150,000 applications for unemployment insurance. On March 27th, it was reported that the number was up over 300,000. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the preliminary number of unemployed in Minnesota in February was 96,111. The CEO of Life Time says 90% of employees will be furloughed. Over a ten day period, 10,000 Minnesota health care workers filed for unemploymentGreat Clips laid off 63 staff at its headquarters in Bloomington. National Recoveries Inc., the student loan collection agency, laid off 248 staff from three Twin Cities offices.

But, as I wrote last week, there are employers out there with ‘Now Hiring’ in the window.

WDIO reports:

Although it may seem like job opportunities are running thin, businesses in the healthcare and food industry are in need of extra help and support right now with the demand of people seeking their services.

“We’ve always got nurses positions open for the a.m’s, p.m’s, and overnight shifts. We also are looking for culinary cooks and aides. We do our own CNA training course here,” said Justin Teal, the administrator for Duluth’s North Shore Estates nursing home.

Grocery stores like Super One say they are especially in need of additional staff to keep produce and products stocked up.

“We’ve been busy, there’s a real demand for various products and trying to keep shelves full so we have lots of work available and keeping them well staffed,” said Boyd Hanson, the Super One human resources director…

“The existing staff we have are working hard. There’s no doubt that they’re getting tired so any extra help would be greatly appreciated,” said Hanson.

KSTP reports:

“Our message is ‘We can meet your needs, we have all kinds of opportunities across the state,’” said Shannon Bock, president of ARRM.

ARRM is a trade association of home and community-based providers that support people living with disabilities. According to Bock, there were nearly 19,000 skilled caregivers needed before the COVID-19 crisis.

“Those are our staff that are on the front line, who are critical to providing quality care to the folks that we support,” Bock said…

“It could be anything from helping someone with daily tasks around their home to helping someone with complex medical needs,” Bock said. “We can bring people in and provide the training that’s necessary.” 

On Monday, the Department of Employment and Economic Development listed the seven top employers currently hiring in Minnesota. It includes Allina Health, Fairview Health Services, Securitas: Security Services, Wells Fargo, Randstad Staffing, Walgreens and Thomas Allen Inc. 

“There are lots of companies that are hiring, and we’re continuing to see job postings come up on our National Labor Exchange and on our website at DEED,” Commissioner Steve Grove said. “We encourage Minnesotans who are looking for work to look at companies that are hiring.”

The U.S. Postal Service told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS it’s looking for help to deal with an increase in demand.

“Our package volume just recently has gone up 30 percent, so we have a high need right now to deliver America’s mail and get the mail out to our customers,” said Nicole Hill, a USPS communications specialist. 

She said the increase in demand coincides with the COVID-19 crisis, as more people are ordering goods online.

According to Hill, they’re looking to fill about 1,100 positions, including assistant rural carriers, rural carrier associates, city carrier associates, tractor-trailer operators and automotive technicians. Each job pays between $17 per hour and $22 per hour.

Grocery stores are also seeing an increase in demand, from Hy-Vee to Kowalski’s.

Obviously, this will only go some way towards reemploying the workers unemployed by the Coronavirus shutdown.

John Phelan is an economist at the Center of the American Experiment. 

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