Since March of last year, millions of Californians have filed unemployment claims due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though millions of claims were approved and thousands of jobs resurfaced since then, residents face new challenges at the start of the new year. More than a million applications are suspended due to the state’s massive issue with unemployment fraud. Not to mention, the available jobs seem to be far beyond the experience or skill level of the average resident.
With so few jobs available and no financial assistance from unemployment, how are Los Angeles County residents handling the pandemic’s economic pressures? Here’s a closer look.
Government And Non-Profit Agencies
While unemployment claims may be taking a long time to get approved, there are other places LA county residents can turn for help. There are government and private programs that assist individuals with everything from rent and utilities to healthcare and job placement. The goal is to help those impacted by the pandemic to sustain a living until they’re back on their feet. These programs are often free to apply for and have a long list of applicants, so applying in a timely fashion is advised.
With so many job descriptions requiring applicants to have a degree, some residents have decided to go back to school. Through financial aid, scholarships, grants, employer assistance, and government programs, they can obtain an education. Whether they aspire to learn things like what is interior design and start a career in that field or simply want to complete a course or certification to enter a trade, they’re using this time out of the office to enhance their knowledge.
Side Gigs And Entrepreneurship
The job market may have improved over the past few months, but job security is at an all-time low. Many people have started looking for other income sources, which sparked an interest in side gigs and entrepreneurship. While some jobs have seemingly become obsolete, others are in high demand.
Some residents have opted to use their vehicles to become rideshare drivers or to deliver food and packages. Other people have looked into things like freelance writing, online tutoring, and selling digital products and services to make money on the internet. Many of these opportunities require little to no investment money and have low overhead costs making them ideal for those under financial strain.
Friends And Family
One of the best places you can turn is to those closest to you in times of need. Since the coronavirus pandemic’s financial pressures started, an increasing number of LA county residents rely on family to survive. Whether it’s asking someone for a loan to tide them over, downsizing and moving in with loved ones, or putting their resources together to accommodate everyone, the assistance they receive keeps them afloat.
Shelters And Food Banks
Unfortunately, homelessness and hunger have reached record highs amid the pandemic. Those who cannot find gainful employment or adequate shelter often turn to places like shelters and food banks for assistance. If nothing else, they can get a bed for the night or a few grocery items to add to their pantry to help weather the storm. Fortunately, there are several locations where people can go if they need this type of assistance. Local shelters and food banks are getting donations regularly to help those who are down and out, and residents are taking advantage of these opportunities.
Everyone knew that a global pandemic would impact everyday life, but no one was prepared for this. Millions of people in LA are unemployed and are on the brink of losing everything they have. While the hope is that unemployment claims will once again be approved and jobs will become widely available, residents aren’t sitting idly by. They’re doing what they can to gain access to assistance, develop professionally, increase their income, and get the support they need to get themselves and their families through to better days.