HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Unemployment benefits will end Saturday due to labor shortages in Alabama, and one career center in Huntsville says they're ready to help people transition back to work.
Our WZDX News reporter has insight from a career specialist, and legal aid about what job seekers can look forward to.
"We have actually more jobs available currently in this area than there are people still drawing unemployment benefits," says Huntsville Career Center Manager Michael Fowler.
Fowler says employers are in dire need of work. He says as unemployment benefits end, he’s seeing more people needing their services.
"We've seen a noticeable increase in people coming into the career center, comparing it to a low point a year ago, we’ve at least doubled the walk-in traffic and the calls that are coming in,” says
Unemployment benefits now ending after a labor shortage has lead people to believe that folks are not actively seeking work.
However, Legal Services Alabama in Huntsville offers a different perspective.
“I have clients who are working three jobs. I have clients who - none of these fast food jobs would give them a full forty-hour week,” says Managing Attorney Legal Services Alabama - Huntsville, Holly Ray.
“That’s the reality of what we’ve seen at Legal Aid. They’re not people who are not willing to work. In fact, they’ve been willing to work themselves until the bone, but having these additional benefits freed them up to make different decisions about their life.”
Fowler says right now it’s a job-seekers market and employers are offering more pay than before.
“Wages have risen so much in almost all of the industries. There are good jobs available in just about any type of occupation.”
He says there's a huge demand in the food industry, construction, and manufacturing.
Fowler and career specialists say they’ll help prepare people for those jobs.
“Folks may not have interviewed in years, and so we can help with preparing for interviews, and then we can match them up with the employers.”
Alabama's Career Center System on Sparkman Drive is open 8 a.m - 4:30 p.m. No appointments are required.