The coronavirus has disrupted businesses around the U.S. as countless "non-essential" companies have been forced to lay off or furlough staff while they suspend operations. With as many as 47 million people left unemployed and another 67 million at risk of layoffs, workers in almost every industry are looking for new roles or temporary assignments. This sudden drop in employment levels — from a historically low unemployment rate to an estimated 32 percent of Americans out of work almost overnight — is unprecedented, and businesses and government organizations around the country are mobilizing to take action.
If you're one of the many workers who has lost or is at risk of losing a job due to COVID-19, we've put together a list of resources to help you improve your job search, find a new role and provide for your family.
federal programs and services
The U.S. government provides a raft of services and programs for those looking for work and financial assistance. One of the best among them is CareerOneStop, a storehouse of useful resources that makes it easy to search for jobs, find training opportunities and get help with unemployment assistance.
It's a great place to start, but it's just one of many federal resources that can assist you if you've lost your job due to coronavirus.
apply for unemployment insurance
Unemployment insurance benefits and requirements vary from state to state, but if you've recently lost your job, you likely qualify for at least some form of unemployment assistance. Find your state's unemployment benefits page here.
get training and job placement through american job centers
American Job Centers help job seekers find new roles and provide training to help them grow their careers. Services for those who qualify include skills assessments, assistance with unemployment insurance, access to individual state job boards, career counseling and job placement assistance.
the senior community service employment program (SCSEP) for those over 55
Low-income workers over 55 years old may find work through the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). If your income is 125 percent of the U.S. poverty level or less (about $33,000 for a family of four), qualified participants can get a variety of part-time community service training roles that pay at least the federal minimum wage.
placement and training through the dislocated workers program
According to the federal government, a worker is "dislocated" if he or she has been laid off, received a layoff notice from a job or receives unemployment benefits as a result of being laid off and is unlikely to return to a previous occupation. That applies to a lot of folks right now, and the Adult and Dislocated Workers Program provides job placement and training for those who qualify.
continue your coverage with COBRA
If losing your job means losing your health coverage, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) may be able to help you keep your coverage for a period of time. To qualify, you must meet each of these requirements:
- Your group health plan must be covered by COBRA.
- A "qualifying event" must occur, like losing your job or having your hours reduced.
- You must be a qualified beneficiary for that event.
Your former employers' HR department should be able to help you understand whether your coverage is covered by COBRA.
Military veterans and their family members can find a variety of career resources on Veterans.gov. From job boards to skills translators to apprenticeships and more, if you served, you'll likely find assistance here. There's also My Next Move for Veterans, an interactive tool allowing veterans to search for jobs and explore career opportunities and apprenticeships.
get help for your family
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program can help your family make ends meet if you qualify. TANF is a federally funded program administered on the state level, and each state's benefits and requirements for eligibility vary. Note that if you do qualify for TANF, you likely also qualify for a variety of other government benefits, as well.
Meanwhile, if you’re currently employed, you may qualify for additional sick leave benefits due to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). It applies to workers whose jobs have been affected by coronavirus, those who need to care for a loved one suffering from it or who need help with child care due to closures of schools or daycare facilities. Check this page to see if you and your employer qualify.
pursue an apprenticeship
Apprenticeships are one of the best and most practical ways to learn new skills while getting paid for your work. Apprenticeship.gov is your best bet for finding open apprenticeships near you. And they're not just for early-career folks, either. Anyone can pursue an apprenticeship, so if you're thinking about a career change, this can be a great way to explore a new path while getting paid and earning valuable credentials.
how randstad can help
As the world's largest staffing firm, we can help you find your next role quickly and easily. Here's how.
find what's next
We've got almost 12,000 temporary and direct-hire roles open in the U.S. at the moment, and you can search for the one that matches your skills, experience and career goals here. While you're at it, take a look at even more roles available on our partner site Monster.com.
join our network
Not seeing the right role for you on our site right now? Join our talent network. Just tell us what you're looking for — and when we find it, we'll email you directly.
learn new skills
If you've got time on your hands due to COVID-19, why not learn some new skills? We put together a helpful guide for doing just that, along with links to sites with hundreds of free courses you can use to upgrade your skill set — right from home.
upgrade your search
Our career resources include scores of articles, infographics, videos and more designed to help you put your best foot forward and land your next great opportunity, including tips and best practices for:
- writing a resume
- crafting a cover letter
- prepping for an interview
- getting the right salary for your role and location
jobs and resources for veterans via military.com
If you're a veteran, you'll find a ton of useful career resources at Military.com, another Randstad partner site. From job listings to help with resumes and interviews, there's no shortage of ways Military.com can help you find a new role.
we've got your back
We know this is a difficult time for you and your family. None of us were ready for what COVID-19 would do to our economy, our jobs and our lives, and none of us know what comes next. What we do know is that we're here for you, no matter what the future holds. We're all in this together, and that's the way we'll get through this — together.