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Thu Dec 10, 2020, 03:02 PM

Minnesota's pandemic employment conundrum; lots of jobs, not enough people who want to work [View all]

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced that lawmakers will convene for a special session on Monday to pass COVID-19 relief for struggling Minnesotans. Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., are also negotiating an economic relief package. There's nothing official, but the talks include aid for businesses and extra unemployment benefits.

The state of Minnesota has an employment conundrum. The problem isn't a shortage of jobs, it's a shortage of people who want to work.

Zee Nagberi owns Platinum Staffing in Brooklyn Park. Despite high unemployment rates, his employment agency can't find workers to fill all the job openings his clients have right now.

You could call it pandemic job search procrastination. According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), there are two unemployed workers available for every job opening.

"There are about 120,000 job vacancies in the state right now, according to our research," DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said. "And there's about 260,000 to 270,000 people getting a weekly benefit check from the unemployment insurance system. The overall ratio is about 2 to 1. For every unemployed worker in the state right now there is at least one job."

(snip)

The fear of getting COVID is real.

"There are some people that are afraid of COVID-19 because they're the more susceptible type to contract the disease," Thompson said. "And then there's the people whose kids are not in school or day care, so they have to stay home to take care of the kids. And then there's the people that don't want to work, or say they can't work."

https://kstp.com/business/minnesotas-pandemic-employment-conundrum-lots-of-jobs-not-enough-people-who-want-to-work-december-9-2020/5947072/

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