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As economy recovers, jobs remain unfilled

Unless a federal extension is ordered, most people will no longer receive their additional $600 weekly payment at the end of July.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — COVID-19 resulted in a skyrocket in unemployment rates, but a Grand Rapids-based temp agency says jobs are still out there and many aren’t being filled.

Staffing Inc. is a local firm with job openings in a multitude of fields and experience levels. According to a statement released by the company, there are current job openings in general labor, semi-skilled, skilled, office, professional and service industries. 

“Currently, we have 300-plus open orders that need to be filled now,” said Todd VandenHeuvel, Staffing Inc.’s vice president of staffing solutions. 

“We are actively recruiting for the best and safest companies in West Michigan.  We cover all shifts, pay ranges, part-time, full-time and all industries. Positions range from assembly, plastic mold operators, HR managers, call center representatives, health screeners, window installers, office managers to event staff.”

The company believes the federal government’s $600-a-week unemployment compensation is a factor in the amount of jobs still available. If this compensation is holding some workers back, the company warns that that lifeline won’t last for long.

Unless a federal extension is ordered, most people will no longer receive their additional $600 weekly payment the week ending July 25.

 “Jump in now — I can’t say this loud enough,” said Josh Pack, Staffing Inc. operations manager. “When the federal benefit runs out in a month, it will be a free-for-all to find a place to work.”

Staffing Inc. is expecting a rush of applicants in late July when the federal compensation is set to expire. An increase in applicants means an increase in competition.

“The quicker you act, the greater the likelihood of getting to work for the coveted companies in West Michigan,” VandenHeuvel said. “The best jobs with the best companies are available but will fill fast. Plus, the sooner you start working, you can start building seniority, gain benefits and work towards pay increases.”  

In February, Michigan’s unemployment rate stood at just 3.6%, but it increased to 21.2% in May due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the state slowly starts to reopen and the economy continues to recover, new positions are opening for work in West Michigan.

“Now is your time to get in,” Pack said. “The question that needs to be asked is: Is a few hundred dollars in unemployment benefits worth not having a steady paycheck in the coming months or even over the holidays?”

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