GREAT FALLS — The Covid-19 pandemic has caused millions of people to lose their jobs over the past year and many working Montanans have been forced to at least temporarily leave the job industry.
A U.N. Report on Monday found that four times as many jobs were lost last year due to the virus than the worst part of the 2009 global financial crisis. In November, around 25 million people either experienced unemployment or lived with an unemployed family member. In April, the unemployment rate jumped to a level not seen since The Great Depression in the 1930s, and at its peak, over 83,000 people in Montana filed for unemployment insurance. The increase in unemployment translates to a world-wide loss of 3.7 trillion dollars in income.
“The job losses during this pandemic recession has been very, very severe,” said Barbara Wagner, Chief Economist for the Montana Department of Labor & Industry. “However the other side of that story is we have come back from those job losses so, so quickly, that we’re both better than and worse than the last recession at the same time.”
The U.N. report noted that most people who lost work stopped looking for a job altogether due to restrictions on businesses like restaurants, hotels, and retail stores that depend on face-to-face interactions.
However, despite an unemployment rate of 4.5% in Great Falls, JobsEQ shows that there are more than 1,500 online job advertisements in Great Falls alone and over 9,400 across the state.
And with so many job postings, the work force is eager to hire more help. “There’s been a lot of job postings," said Joey Richman, a recruiter for Great Falls Clinic. “I currently have between 80 and 90 open positions, with the biggest need being in nursing right now, I have lots of CNA, CMA, LPN, and RN positions available.”
As of this month, the Montana official state website shows that fewer than 25,000 Montanans have applied for unemployment benefits, dropping more than 58,000 claims since April.
The Montana Department of Labor & Industry says that while this recession may have caused more job losses than the 2009 financial crisis, they are also seeing a much larger and faster recovery and are hopeful for the future of the job industry.
If you are looking for a job, one option is to visit or contact the Great Falls Job Service. It is located at 1018 7th Street South; the phone number is 406-791-5800. You can also search job listings online at the following sites: