CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — “Employers are still struggling. I mean that’s the reality,” Evan Jenkins, Manpower Employment Agency, said.
You have probably noticed that if you drive through any town, there’s no shortage of “Help Wanted” signs. Extra unemployment benefits are now over at the state and federal levels. Many expected that would mean people would get back to work, but that’s not the case everywhere.
Manpower Employment Agency says some states that ended unemployment benefits early saw a decrease in the number of people who are working, but here in Illinois, they say that number is slowly rising. Many businesses are still turning to places like Manpower in Champaign for help.
“We’re not seeing unemployment be back to pre-pandemic levels so what they’re asking of us is just what can they do in order to bring more people on and meet up with the demand,” Jenkins said.
Callie McFarland with the City of Monticello says they have not seen a decrease in unemployment.
“We’re realizing as we’ve offered more jobs, the number of jobs we’ve had available also increase new created jobs,” McFarland said.
She says even if they fill some jobs, more openings pop up.
“We’re still pretty consistent of 50-60 businesses that are hiring. Anywhere from I think we’re hovering from about 120 or so jobs right now that are open in the region,” McFarland said.
On the bright side, some parts of Central Illinois are seeing more people get hired.
“We got 7 offices regionally throughout Central Illinois and we’re seeing an average increase of about 12% of number of employees on assignment,” Jenkins said.
Manpower’s Evan Jenkins says Champaign has recently seen around a 45% increase in the last two weeks. Decatur is also doing well with a rise in employment.
“We really weren’t expecting to see this boom of new candidates right away and really we’re still expecting to see a trickle of candidates come through,” Jenkins said.
He says while the unemployment levels are still high, he’s hopeful more people will continue to slowly start working.
“We’re really happy about this nice uptick in the early stages here in October,” Jenkins said. “Again, the thought process is that this is going to be a slow drip and something that we’re going to continue to see moving in the right direction.”
City of Monticello job board: