As job searches skyrocket, some companies ditching office space

National

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — National coverage of the last jobs report showed numbers lower than expected, with many anxious about what the next report could bring. But if some of the signs here locally are any indication, we could be in for a spike of people looking for — and possibly returning to — work.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics are showing over 5% unemployment across the country, with about 8.4 million people out of work. At least here in Rochester, we’re hearing about a big jump in people taking the first steps into re-entering the job market. 

“But folks are looking, and we’re noticing it, and it’s great,” says Amorette Miller, co-owner of ShiftDiff.com

‘Shift Diff’ is meant for finding Rochester region careers; 80 major companies are affiliated with it. She says the number of people looking for work has skyrocketed this month. 

“Since September 1st, we’ve had 2,000 additional views of different jobs. So we’re so happy and hopeful because last year at this time, it was pretty low. We were down in the 15 to 20 per day views,” she says.

And searches in all fields: food service, security, health care, non-profits, education, tech—almost every category. Granted, this could have to do with another major factor nationally: the extra boost in unemployment pay ending. Miller saying many factors are involved. 

“We don’t know the reasons why people have been out of work for so long, but whatever those reasons are I think that we’re seeing folks just ready to go,” says Miller.

Miller did say some of it had to do with parents waiting on word for school to start and finding the right rhythm there before re-starting their careers. 

“Getting on and off the bus, is my child going to be on time at home? Can I be reliable at my job?”

Miller believes it’s about striking a balance and finding a fit. She says this surge in searches locally likely means across the US, this is a pattern, the unemployment gap, getting tighter.  

This is a trend all over, in all 50 states, folks are getting back into it,” Miller said. (Just to note, job postings on Indeed.com in late August were up 39% compared to February of 2020, a month before the pandemic started).

But what kind of work environment might employees be returning to? A new study by Digital.com says 7 in 10 companies in the US are ditching some, or completely closing, office space.

“You don’t necessarily have to have a central location for your company,” Dennis Consorte with Digital.com said.

Consorte says the shifts to the virtual office have been a long time coming, especially in big cities. Rochester, no doubt making some changes, too. 

“No matter what, this is where we’re going, we’re going to a virtual first environment because it makes so much sense,” he said.

Consorte says many people have expressed the desire to stay home, particularly parents. It also cuts costs, and for some productivity is increased. “It can give people a better quality of life, without having to give them a raise,” he says.

On October 16th, Shift Diff will be hosting a job fair in Rochester at UPREP Charter School.

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