OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - Gov. Pete Ricketts announced the state will stop participating in the COVID-related unemployment benefits program offered by the federal government. It offers an extra $300 to those who have filed for unemployment.
Nebraska Commissioner of Labor John Albin says there were roughly 16,000 unemployment claims last week but there are 39,000 jobs posted on their website.
"The pandemic unemployment programs were set up to handle the job losses that flowed out of the pandemic. The current unemployment rate is 2.8 percent which is the lowest percentage since September of 2018," Albin said.
Albin says it is time for these unemployment benefits to end since it was always meant to be temporary.
"51 percent of our claimants are receiving more money being unemployed than they were [when] employed," Albin said. "It was certainly never the intent of the unemployment program to create an alternative income stream for people, it was to replace temporary losses of employment."
Michelle Tallant with Crown Services, a staffing agency in Omaha, says there are plenty of open positions but they cannot get their orders filled.
"We're just really trying to get people in the door. We've got some really great jobs with benefits, and good pay, and we just need more people calling, coming in, filling in applications, doing interviews with us, doing interviews with our clients," Tallant said.
From housekeeping to warehouse work and customer service, Tallant says every industry has job opportunities.
"We're definitely seeing clients now say, 'You know what, we used to pay $12 or $13 an hour, we're willing to pay $15, $16 an hour to get people in here,'" Tallant said.
Dave Wise, the Senior Vice President of Business Banking at TS Bank, says this is the perfect time for Nebraskans to get financially savvy.
"Be thinking like a CFO, is this purchase truly important to me?" Wise said. "Is this something I need? What is the return I get on this?"
Wise says this is the most valuable lesson we can learn post-pandemic.
"The good times don't last forever and the bad times don't last forever either," Wise said. "You really need to plan for both."
Here is a link for job resources.