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Thousands unemployed in Kansas City metro; some companies looking to hire

Kansas City coronavirus unemployed
Kansas City unemployment coronavirus
Posted at 5:56 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 18:57:39-04

JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. — The coronavirus outbreak has forced several thousand people in the Kansas City metro into unemployment and looking for work.

Restaurants, bars, casinos, gyms and movie theaters are just some of the companies closed, resulting in temporary layoffs.

On the Missouri side of the state line, many job seekers can go to the Full Employment Council to get help. In Kansas, they can go to Workforce Partnership in Johnson, Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties.

Since the outbreak, these agencies have had to change to an online or call-in model to slow the spread of the virus while helping thousands of people find a job.

"There are a lot of people have been trying to call, and the wait times are excessively long, so we are offering basic level support and answering some basic questions at our workforce center,” said Keely Schneider, executive director for Workforce Partnership.

Schneider recommends if you are laid off, try to get your benefits now.

"Please do file if you feel you are eligible," Schneider said. "If you are temporarily laid off because of this situation, it’s important that you get that benefit filing started."

While many businesses are closed, others are still open and looking to hire.

Price Chopper stores across the metro are looking to fill between 350 to 400 jobs.

"We feel fortunate that we are able to hire, and we’re trying to get those folks in as quickly as possible,” said Aaron Greer, director of human resources at the Price Chopper on West 95th Street and Mission Road in Leawood.

The jobs range from entry-level to more experienced, which will help the company deal with the increase in demand.

"Certainly a big part of the surge is due in part to the recent coronavirus events,” Greer said.

Besides grocery stores, there are other companies looking to hire.

"The areas that we are seeing a huge sudden uptick in hiring are those companies who are providing the delivery services," Schneider said. "The demand in home delivery has spiked, and so we’re talking about Amazon, Spectrum Brands, Jet.com, all of these logistics companies. They are hiring now and they need people."

Job seekers in the Kansas City metro can click here to see a list of jobs.

In Missouri, you can file for unemployment online here. In Kansas, you can file here.