SAN ANTONIO – The nation’s biggest hiring surge in months, with 850,000 jobs filled, was welcomed news for Adrian Lopez, CEO of Workforce Solutions Alamo.
“That actually is in line with where we’re headed for this particular region,” Lopez said.
He said about half of the 332,000 people in the 13-county region who lost their jobs in the pandemic are back at work.
“We’re moving in the right direction, but we’re not there just yet,” Lopez said. “It’s not a switch. You can’t just kind of turn it on and everything gets back to normal.”
He said after all, the last 15 months have been “nothing less than tragic.”
Workforce Solutions Alamo reports more than 20,000 unemployment claims are still being filed monthly.
“Things are improving, but some things are still kind of in a bad situation,” Lopez said.
Then there’s the apparent contradiction that hiring is up, but many businesses are still struggling to hire workers.
“We’re definitely seeing a lot of employers up their game as it relates to pay,” Lopez said, as well as offering incentives, bonuses and in some cases, flexible hours.
Lopez said not only do many have childcare and other reasons for not going back to work, but many others are also training for better, higher-paying jobs, or they’ve already found them.
Just like the pandemic, Lopez said what’s happening in the job market also is unprecedented.
He said the impact of federal assistance ending won’t be felt for another two weeks, although the majority of workers won’t see their state unemployment benefits until the first week of September.
Lopez said Workforce Solutions Alamo also has several programs to assist job seekers on its website.