SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR) — More than 7.5 million Americans have found themselves without unemployment benefits as four key federal pandemic programs expired Monday.

These programs were created to extend aid to those who had exhausted their state’s benefits period, covered part-time workers, freelancers, and self-employed workers who normally wouldn’t receive unemployment, and provided an extra $300 weekly bonus for so many.

For the thousands of New Yorkers struggling to make ends meet, these federal dollars were a saving grace, but now that money is gone. 

“We probably have twice as many people this September as we did a year ago from now seeking work,” said Lenore Sally, the executive director of CNY Works in Syracuse.

CNY Works is a not-for-profit organization in Syracuse that helps people find jobs and even though their workload has doubled since last year, Sealy doesn’t think the extra unemployment ending will make more people enter the workforce.

“People are still nervous,” she said. “We were getting a little bit more relaxed about everything and then the delta variant presented, and I think people are still nervous about being forward-facing.” 

But that doesn’t mean the jobs don’t still need to be filled. New York businesses have felt the impact of the national labor shortage and Sealy says there are tons of jobs waiting for eligible workers. 

CNY Works offers resume building, interview preparation, job training programs, and much more to help people hone their job-seeking skills. Whether you’re looking to change your career, learn a new trade, or increase your education Sealy said they can meet your individual needs.

“I don’t think there’s a one size fits all”

Lenore Sealy

Sealy added searching for a job takes patience and hard work but it’s important to know you’re not alone. 
For more information on finding a job or to find out whether you’re still eligible for NYS unemployment, you can visit the NYS Department of Labor website here.