COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — In the three years since the pandemic started, the workforce has changed — with many employers seeking out employees, but not as many people actually looking for work.
OhioMeansJobs released its February numbers in March, showing the unemployment claims for the second month of the year. Throughout February, Ohio’s labor participation rate was a little more than 60%.
Scott Johnson, with OhioMeansJobs in Franklin County, said these numbers did not surprise him because of how much the workforce has changed.
“How can we help individuals who maybe previously worked in hospitality or food service or retail, how can we help them afford to pay their bills and still learn those new skills?” Johnson said.
Right now, he said, a skill mismatch exists between employers and employees, which is why OhioMeansJobs provides job fairs and networking opportunities — both in-person and virtual.
“We’re exploring different opportunities of evening classes, weekend classes with our training providers, and we’re even looking at using tools like virtual reality to help expose individuals to new types of careers because you don’t know what you don’t know,” Johnson said.
Workplaces are trying to go about hiring people in the same ways they always have, but since the pandemic, Johnson said job seekers are looking for something different. Companies have to adapt, he said.
“A job description doesn’t sell a position — it’s the culture, it’s the environment, it’s the type of place I’m going to work and how I’m going to be treated,” Johnson said.
OhioMeansJobs has different networking opportunities and job fairs every month to try to bolster the workforce here in Central Ohio. More information is available on their website here.