(WXYZ) — It’s been a year since the start of the pandemic and the massive economic hit suffered by businesses and workers. Hundreds of thousands of metro Detroiters found themselves out of work, and far too many are still looking for work.
The unemployment rate for Michigan in December - the most recent month with numbers available - was 7.5%. The unemployment rate in Metro Detroit is the highest in Michigan at just over 10%. For context, the national unemployment for December was 6.7%.
The number of people holding jobs is down nearly 7% over the last year, and while there are jobs out there the market is much tighter.
Online jobs postings requiring a high school diploma or vocational training were down 6.5%, and down more than 23% for jobs requiring an associate degree.
It can look grim, but there are jobs hiring now and forecast to grow in the next year.
New mother Kimberly Spohn has been looking for a job for 6 months. She has two degrees - one in secondary education the other in zoology
"It can be frustrating. It's really tough right now, I know for everybody. Everybody is just trying to find something," Spohn said.
That frustration is understandable. But HR professional Jacquie Munson Gaines of JMG Connects says there are jobs out there. With e-commerce booming during the pandemic, companies like Amazon are looking for workers.
"A minimum of $15 an hour. They have flexible work schedules to include working four days, 10-hour shifts and full benefits," Gaines said.
That's for warehouse and package delivery positions. Those drivers are part of the transportation sector which the state of Michigan expects to see continued growth over the next year. That includes trucking jobs.
According to the Michigan Department of Labor Market information – other industries expected to see growth include construction, finance, insurance and banking. With record-low mortgage rates, mortgage companies are looking for folks to help them keep up with demand:
Some of those roles are very high-paying positions, you don't have to have a college degree," she added.
A lot of people are refinancing. So that's driving a lot of demand and financial sectors," Job Market Expert Kristi Stepp added.
Stepp - a partner at Sigred Solutions - highlights healthcare as a sector to watch. It was one of the fastest-growing industries in Metro Detroit before the pandemic.
Ambulatory health services like doctors offices, clinics and home healthcare added 2000 jobs in metro Detroit in the last few months of 2020.
The state is also forecasting Michigan job growth in positions that can be done from home like IT, publishing software, hosting and telecommunication.
Kristi says Non-profits are hiring too, at all levels. From CEO to managers of volunteers. Non-profits may not be about to offer the same level of benefits or money, but they can offer psychic income.
"The quality of what people get and their ability to work in areas where they have their passion is very fulfilling," Stepp said.
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Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.