Unemployment claims climb but some Alabama companies are hiring in spite of COVID-19 crisis

Unemployment claims climb but some Alabama companies are hiring in spite of COVID-19 crisis
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Only two weeks ago, Gov. Kay Ivey announced the first confirmed case of the coronavirus in Alabama. Since that time, a whirlwind of newly confirmed cases, school and business closings, city and county ordinances to enforce social distancing, and the state’s first deaths have dramatically changed day-to-day life.

For many, the safety and security of families and jobs are what is most important. The impact of COVID-19 can be seen in the recent surge in unemployment applications.

But help is available. Alabama Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said that as of March 20, the state has $700 million in its unemployment insurance trust fund. In addition, the state will temporarily waive all charges against employers that file partial unemployment compensation claims on behalf of their employees.

“We hope that this additional relief to employers will help ease the burden so many of us are facing during this unprecedented situation,” Washington said in a March 20 news release. “We are encouraging all employers that are able to file these partial claims on behalf of their employees.”

If you need to file a claim, you can visit the Alabama Department of Labor’s website or call 1-866-234-5382 (select option 2).

In addition to unemployment assistance, a number of industries and businesses have seen their businesses expand amid the virus-related changes, with significant growth among grocers, delivery and cleaning services, and health care.

Indeed, a leading international jobs website, has over 30,000 full-time and part-time jobs in Alabama. Other leading job search sites include LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Monster, CareerBuilder and SimplyHired.

The Amazon fulfillment center in Bessemer is looking for warehouse and shopper team members – no resume or previous experience is required, and in some cases, work can begin in as little as seven days.

Shipt is looking to hire for its corporate business, as well as community shoppers. Current business openings include data and software engineers, marketing analysts and brand designers.

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Family Dollar and Dollar Tree have over 200 store positions available throughout Alabama. Most openings are for assistant or full store managers and operations assistant managers.

For people with medical training, St. Vincent’s is actively hiring, with over 300 positions posted at facilities throughout Alabama.

Care.com is looking for persons interested in part-time work in childcare, senior support, housekeeping or pet care. The website connects selected applicants with individual families that are in need of support service for loved ones. There are over 600 listings available throughout the state.

On Tuesday, March 31, at noon, Indeed will offer a webcast, “Navigating the Job Search during COVID-19,” that will include tips on finding work quickly, advanced search methods to find work from home or gig jobs, and how to impress employers in a remote interview setting.

For those who are looking to apply for jobs outside of their known field, or people newly entering the workforce, many of the websites offer resume writing help, as well as resume examples by industry, that can help ease the stress that goes with putting an application together.

The Alabama Industrial Development Training center (AIDT), which was established to provide quality workforce development for new and expanding businesses and to expand the opportunities of its citizens through the jobs these businesses create, lists over 60 jobs on its site. AIDT staff are working remotely, but they anticipate reopening the facility Monday, April 6. The website offers additional information about operations and upcoming classes, and a contact form to reach out to staff.

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