Coronavirus impact on unemployment

Local News

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Thousands of Illinoisans are out of work after coronavirus precautions forced businesses to shut down. That means many are filing for unemployment or searching for jobs.

Others, like Sean Talbott, have been unemployed for some time. However, coronavirus changes aren’t making it easy for him to re-enter the workforce.

“Don’t know what’s gonna happen next. Don’t know where money’s gonna come from,” said Talbott.

Talbott is counting down the days with dread until his unemployment checks stop coming. “I’m due to run out in two weeks, so I mean, gotta find something,” said Talbott.

The truck driver of 19 years has been out of work for a knee injury, but as soon as he tried to go back in September, he was laid off.

“I’ve been on unemployment, looking for a job, just trying to find something to make ends meet,” said Talbott. “26 weeks is the length that you’re allowed on unemployment. I’m having troubles finding openings, and there’s just not a lot of work.”

Talbott says he has questions about how to get an extension to his unemployment, but he hasn’t been able to get ahold of anyone at the office to get those answers.

“I’d like to see the unemployment get extended for those that are on it. Just for the simple fact that… you’re not gonna find a job. Something needs to be done, and it needs to be done now,” said Talbott.

There is some hope out there. Cody Alterman works for Express Employment in Champaign – a business that helps people find jobs. He says some industries are booming.

“A lot of our clients are large-scale manufacturers, and the products they produce are currently in high demand, whether it’s supplying for the medical industry, or any type of bottling or containers for different types of soaps or hand sanitizers that are being used right now. They’re seeing a spike in business,” said Alterman.

Whether that will benefit people like Talbott, time will tell. His biggest concern at the moment is just making ends meet. “Right now it’s just very hard,” said Talbott.

Anyone interested in applying with Express Employment should head here.

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