Unemployment claims are down but job stability remains uncertain

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Initial unemployment claims are below one million nationally for the first time since the pandemic began. 

Unemployment claims in Sedgwick County are down, but WSU economic development and business research director Jeremy Hill said there is still concern about the stability in the job market.

“We’re actually improving much faster than the U.S. when you look at unemployment claims,” said Hill.

Last week, 2,000 new unemployment claims were filed in Sedgwick County which is the lowest in weeks, but experts said there is still uncertainty ahead.

The Workforce Alliance has seen some workers laid off for a second time, due to recent closures and lower demands.

“They had their hours adjusted related to the entertainment industry but it really varies across the board, but there have been impacts felt more than one time because of COVID-19,” said Central Kansas Workforce Alliance Amanda Duncan.

Jeremy Hill said some companies have decided to lay off workers who were temporarily furloughed.

As for long term jobs, Hill said there is uncertainty.

“Someone might find that their job is good today but might have some risks in the next several weeks or several months,” said Hill.

Duncan said if schools have to teach remotely, there could be support workers going through another furlough, but said she’s hopeful the schools are taking proper precautions to avoid that.

Both Hill and Duncan said it will take time, but there is hope as some businesses are slowly starting to hire again. 

The state will release it’s latest unemployment numbers next week and experts said this will help them see how things progress.

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