CHAMPAIGN, Ill (WCIA) — New numbers are out today, showing the unemployment rate in Illinois was down to 4.5% in June, down from 6.5% the same time last year. With the cost of everything going up, people are trying to find jobs to help pay the bills.

Charlie Miller from Express Employment Professionals said they have enough open jobs for more than 400 people across nearly 100 companies.

“The jobs are out there, the candidates are out there, it just seems to be a mismatch in skillsets, expectations, experience,” said Miller.

As we near the end of the pandemic, people are going back to work, but finding a qualified candidate for the right job is the real struggle. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the unemployment rate dropped in all 14 Illinois metropolitan areas in June. In Champaign, the unemployment rate decreased to 4.2 percent last month.

That’s down from 5.7% in June 2021. Miller said that if a candidate appears to fit the job, give them an opportunity.

“My advice to companies is: if you find somebody and they check four out of the five boxes, give them a shot,” Miller said. “You’ll be pleasingly surprised of people out there who want to work, want to work.”

Miller said people are interested in “an office job, clerical work, administrative work. A lot of people want an education, they want to learn something on the job, they want a transferrable skillset.”

He said the pool of candidates changes across the sector.

“You get a couple different groups of people,” Miller said. “You get the people who they come in expecting a large dollar amount for a less than ideal skillset and then you get people who have worked their whole lives and just don’t realize what their skillset is worth.”

Miller said they’ve helped people from all walks of life, something they hope to keep going.

“We had a gentleman in here a couple weeks ago, he was without a home for a long time and he was averaging about $40 a month that he was bringing in,” Miller said. “He was living off of that.

But now, he’s making $19 dollars an hour.

Express Employment Professionals’ service is free and only benefits if you’re hired. They have offices in Champaign and Urbana and always want to help. Applicants seeking a job can visit Express Employment Professionals’ website to get started.