ATLANTA — Businesses across the state have re-opened their doors and are gearing up for Georgia’s summer tourism rush. After 14 months of intensive effort to provide unemployment insurance benefits to more than 1.2 million Georgians, the Georgia Department of Labor is shifting its focus to re-employment in a strategic effort to help meet the needs of employers in every region and industry in the state.
Employ Georgia is the state’s official labor exchange system, and job listings are currently the highest ever recorded. reaching numbers of almost a quarter-million jobs that could include multiple positions for each listing.
“We are hearing from employers that are struggling to meet demand right now due to the lack of applicants for open positions,” Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a news release. “Our mission is to not only bridge the pay gap for those who are temporarily unemployed, but to also provide re-employment support for those who are looking to re-enter the work force, filling the critical vacancies we are seeing in almost every industry right now.”
The GDOL provides online support to job seekers looking to rejoin the work force or find a better career. Claimants receive access to more than 240,000 job listings, support to upload up to five searchable resumes, job search assistance, career counseling, skills testing, job fair information, job training services, and accessibility and special accommodations for people with disabilities and veterans transitioning back into the workplace. Employ Georgia’s artificial intelligence system works 24 hours a day to match potential candidates with vacancies that best fit a claimant’s skill sets.
As of today, almost 239,000 jobs are listed on EmployGeorgia for Georgians to access. In many cases, employers are willing to train quality candidates and assist with attainment of additional credentials.
According to latest industry job numbers, the leisure and hospitality sector lost 223,000 jobs from February to April 2020. Since that time to March 2021, 144,000 of these jobs have been gained back, more than 65%. However, year-to-date, more than 40,000 job vacancies have been listed in the leisure and hospitality industry highlighting the critical need for job applicants and the need to re-implement work search.
“Restaurant owners have battled the last year to overcome the challenges of the pandemic, making hard decisions to keep our doors open only to now have to reduce hours and close dine-in services when we can’t find employees,” Zach Steed, owner of Moe’s Southwest Grill in Carrollton and Newnan, and Captain D’s Seafood Kitchen of Villa Rica, said. “We all want to return to the strong economy we experienced prior to COVID-19, but we can’t do that without an available workforce.”