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Kansas City metro unemployed workers search for jobs, but have different tastes

Applicants look for insurance, higher wages
Virus Outbreak California Jobs
Posted at 10:07 PM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 23:48:39-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Businesses in the Kansas City metro are looking to hire, but having a hard time finding workers.

Clyde McQueen, CEO of the Full Employment Council, said several factors are contributing to that struggle. Among them, unemployment benefits continuing for several months and people not being comfortable working in-person as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on.

"It’s a whole different group of questions that people are asking," McQueen said. "They’re being much more deliberate."

McQueen said he has noticed a change in how job seekers approach finding employment.

"They are looking at alternative occupations other than the ones in which they were laid off," McQueen said.

The pandemic also has changed peoples' priorities, according to McQueen.

"They’re wanting to make sure that they have resources to meet their needs because their credit isn’t what it used to be," he said. "They want to look at new opportunities while they still can with the cases checks coming in."

That includes higher wages.

"Despite what may be quote-unquote the minimum wage, employers are realizing if they are going to get the right people, they are going to have to pay a livable wage," McQueen said.

The unemployment rate in Missouri with the latest data in February sits at 4.2%, whereas in Kansas it's at 3.7% as of March.

Missourians who are looking for a job or have questions about employment can visit the Full Employment Council website.

In Johnson, Wyandotte, Leavenworth counties, residents can visit the Workforce Partnership website.