Arizona businesses struggle to hire, while the unemployed struggle to find work

Tens of thousands of Arizonans are still collecting unemployment while employers say they're desperate to hire.

It's been complicated finding a one-size-fits-all solution, but both the jobless and those looking to hire can agree that the future seems bright.

Jeremy Gonzalez bought all of the necessary tools and has the needed college degree, but a new industrial electrical job has been hard to secure.

"COVID came and hit, so we had to reduce how many people were at the job site," Gonzalez said. "Unfortunately, I came up in the cut."

The Phoenix resident said jobs are out there, but they don't apply to his specialty.

"I need to take care of a family so I need something can take care of a family," Gonzalez said. "Benefits as well - dental insurance, health insurance, 401k."

Meanwhile, at Express Employment Professionals, they say they have never seen a market like this.

Daria Orozco says they can’t fill positions fast enough at their job placement firm.

"We’ve had employers who’ve had to stop production of their products because they don’t have enough employees to run certain lines," said Orozco. "It is a struggle."

She says employers have offered signing bonuses and increased base pay to attract new employees.

"The applicant pool has been tight so that’s been a challenge for a lot of employers," said Orozco.

Next week, the state will require those on unemployment to prove they're looking for work in order to continue receiving benefits. For Jeremy Gonzalez, this isn't a problem.

"I actually put in about 15 applications this morning, so I don’t know," said Gonzalez.

He’s hoping to get back to work any day.

"I believe God's with me," he said. "I’ve been keeping my prayers up and everything will get through - we’ll see our way through this."

Daria Orozco said the Express Employment Professionals is holding a job fair on May 20 to keep up with job demand, with no appointments required.

Learn more about the job fair here:

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