Local and state leaders urging those out of work to keep job searching

More than 70,000 people in Wisconsin applied for unemployment benefits so far this week, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – More and more Americans are losing their jobs at alarming rates because of the coronavirus.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, about 3.3 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week, which is the highest ever in a seven-day span.

But if you are out of work, local and state leaders are urging you to keep looking.

When it comes to job searching, it can be tedious and challenging.

And if you are currently out of work, there is a path for you to start fresh.

“Don’t get discouraged,” Workforce Connections executive director Teresa Pierce said. “Go online, see different opportunities.”

Pierce says plenty of options are on the table.

“There’s still businesses that are open doing essential work, and those businesses are looking for employees,” Pierce said.

Those jobs include healthcare, trucking, manufacturing, and retail.

“It might not be your ideal job today, but when your life evens out and settles in, and then you go to look for your better job, you are a stronger candidate because you have your current employment,” Pierce said.

Websites like the Job Center of Wisconsin allow you to search for jobs and even create your own resume.

“It can be a lifeline in these challenging times to know that there are good opportunities out there, and that there’s help out there to help you get those positions,” Wisconsin career counselor Myron Daubert said.

And while you’re waiting for that next chance, maybe now is the time to reassess your expenses.

“You’re gonna wanna make sure they know what’s happening with their health insurance,” Pierce said. “They’re also gonna wanna look at food…You know if they have concerns about their rent, call your landlord.”

It can be difficult to find work in times like these, but Pierce says if something presents itself, consider the benefits.

“If there’s an opportunity while you’re off work to upgrade your skills, oh by all means, do that,” Pierce said.

Pierce also says if you plan to look for a job, be sure to apply for unemployment first.

To put this in perspective, more than 70,000 people in Wisconsin applied for unemployment benefits just this week, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Only about 4,000 people applied for benefits at the same time last year.