That additional $300 per week that unemployed workers have been receiving will disappear soon.
Now is the time to start looking even harder for work.
That’s the message from state officials who are warning that extended federal unemployment benefits will expire on Sept. 4.
“The pandemic did have a mass layoff for me unfortunately so I’ve been trying to find something consistent,” Kennisha Dixon of Hartford says.
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That’s why she came to the American Jobs Center in Hartford.
“I was in customer service and retail. I’m currently looking to go into cosmetology,” Dixon says.
She says they are helping her brush up on her interview skills.
“I’m also worried about another shutdown so the work from home positions is like hit or miss with them,” Dixon says.
“This is the right moment for the people of Connecticut to locate new jobs,” Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz says.
State officials say with federal unemployment benefits ending just as school is starting, it could incentivize more women to get back to work.
“By the second week of the pandemic we saw women having unemployment that was outpacing men,” Acting Labor Commissioner Dante Bartolomeo says.
At the peak there were 45,000 more women filing for unemployment benefits than men.
“This pandemic has had a greater impact on women and I think it’s tied very much to the fact that most women are providers of child care,” Bartolomeo says.
“A lot of women had multiple kids at home struggling through online learning or women were the main caretakers for sick family members,” Bysiewicz says.
Not everybody is anxious to get back to work.
“There are so many jobs out there but you know with the delta variant and Covid coming at a higher number right now it’s very hard for an individual to run into that workplace,” Valerie Hamilton of Hartford says.
“Why would you put yourself out there at a high risk to your family and you don’t even get proper health insurance for you or your family members?” she says.
Others used the pandemic to change careers.
“Because we had the hiccup of Covid so it kind of gave me a break,” Angie Bullaro says.
Bullaro was in customer service and now she’s looking to get into social work.
“I have a lot to offer and I feel that there’s a need right now especially in mental health,” she added.