Governor Kathy Hochul today promoted numerous free state resources that are available to help connect New Yorkers with vacant jobs as they transition back to the workforce or explore new career paths. The New York State Department of Labor continues to proactively connect unemployed New Yorkers with jobs through recruitment, skill-matching, marketing, community outreach, and other ongoing efforts as part of New York State's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"New Yorkers have faced unimaginable economic hardships caused by COVID-19, and we've moved mountains to get unemployed New Yorkers their money—providing nearly $100 billion in benefits to more than 4.7 million individuals since the beginning of the pandemic," Governor Hochul said. "As we navigate this pandemic and move our State forward, we want to help connect every job seeker in New York with the right job opportunity. I encourage both businesses in need of workers and New Yorkers in need of a job to take advantage of these crucial resources."
DOL offers free resources to assist New Yorkers with career exploration, including: JobZone, resume assistance, interview insight, and much more. Job seekers in every region of the state can also learn about virtual career fairs, workshops, and classes by visiting DOL's Career Calendar. The Department has also partnered with other state agencies such as the Department of Transportation to host virtual recruitment events and highlight and recruit for opportunities within New York State government.
New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, "Connecting unemployed New Yorkers with jobs that are available now, while filling a void for the businesses that have an immediate need are critical to reinvigorating our economy and our state. Finding new and innovative ways to connect job seekers with the jobs they love, and businesses with the skilled workers they need, is the best way to strengthen our workforce and build back our economy stronger and better than ever."
DOL is continuing to unveil more virtual resources, including a virtual career center where New Yorkers can work directly with DOL Career Center professionals virtually to assist them in their job search activities.
New Yorkers who are out of work and looking to upskill or explore other career paths can also increase and expand their skills through the State's online learning platform in partnership with Coursera, and utilize the State University of New York's SUNY FOR ALL free Online Training Center.
In addition, DOL has bolstered its Shared Work Program, which enables employers to avoid layoffs by allowing workers to receive partial Unemployment Insurance benefits while working reduced hours. This program, which has been in place since 1986, became a vital lifeline for businesses across the state as they made temporary staff reductions in response to the COVID-19 crisis. DOL has reduced required paperwork and improved the plan approval and certification processes, enabling the Shared Work Program to handle a tenfold increase in the number of plans in 2020—helping more than 60,000 New Yorkers stay at work during the pandemic.
DOL has also conducted targeted outreach efforts and implemented new technology to make it easier for employers to learn about and participate in this job saving program. As part of this effort, DOL continues to host a series of webinars for businesses using part-time work and Shared Work as recovery tools. The webinars are marketed through chambers of commerce, business groups, social media and directly to businesses.
DOL also implemented emergency measures to revise its partial Unemployment Insurance system, which now bases unemployment insurance benefits on the number of hours actually worked over the course of a week, instead of the number of days worked. Under this new system, unemployed New Yorkers can get back to work in a part-time capacity without the risk of losing their UI benefits.
Individuals can work up to seven days per week without losing full unemployment benefits for that week if they work 30 hours or fewer and earn $504 or less in gross pay, excluding earnings from self-employment.
DOL has also been working with businesses to develop strategies to utilize the flexibility part-time workers provide as they build back from the pandemic. DOL has launched a web page with information and resources for job seekers and businesses about part-time work. The page connects job seekers to a job board with nearly 20,000 part-time jobs available today across the state. Here, businesses can list their openings and job seekers can browse part-time jobs by location, company and job title, and search by keyword.
Part-time work is a critical part of New York State's economic recovery and provides additional opportunities to job seekers such as:
- Helping them to return to a previous career that may not have full-time positions available;
- Allowing them to try a new career or different position;
- Working while learning new skills at the same time;
- Opening the door to potential full-time jobs;
- Building a new community for support and job networking; and
- Improving self-esteem