Unemployment Applications in Southwest Minnesota
DEED has developed a new page on their website to track the number of unemployment applications in the state: https://mn.gov/deed/data/data-tools/unemployment-insurance-statistics/. From March 16 – April 23, 2020, over 8,800 residents have applied for unemployment in the 14-county region of southwest Minnesota. 

COVID-19 Employer Survey
To better understand and address the current workforce development needs of employers in southwest Minnesota, we are reaching out to gather feedback regarding virtual services that would be useful during this challenging time. Please complete this short 5 question survey (takes 2 minutes).

Shared Work – A Layoff Alternative
Shared Work is offered by the MN Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program to help employers avoid a layoff. You submit an application and a list of the selected employees that will work reduced hours during a temporary slowdown. They are paid unemployment benefits to offset part of their reduced wages.
• You divide available work hours among a group of employees instead of a layoff.
• You pay wages for the hours the employees work.
• Employees receive partial unemployment insurance benefits while working reduced hours. The benefits usually pay about one-half of the employees lost income due to the reduced hours.

Benefits of Shared Work
• Keep experienced and trained staff
• Avoid future hiring and training costs
• Increase operations quickly when business conditions improve
• Avoid a layoff which creates goodwill and financial stability for the workforce and the community

Learn more about Shared Work here: https://www.uimn.org/employers/alternative-layoff/index.jsp

Employees Returning to Work
As we approach the day when the Stay-at-Home order is lifted and employers can reopen and bring employees back to work, the following information regarding unemployment benefits may be helpful.

• Employees should return to work, when called back or offered a position, unless there is an individual issue (like health or daycare reasons) that should be handled on an individual basis. The UI amount of money, plus the $600 was never meant to replace wages such that the employee wouldn’t want to take a job.

• If an employee is called back to work and is refusing an offer of work, the employer should Raise an Issue.

• Employees who are scared to go back to work because their workplace is not following good social distancing practices, can file an OSHA complaint – https://www.dli.mn.gov/updateshttps://www.dli.mn.gov/business/workplace-safety-and-health/mnosha-compliance-filing-complaint

Help for Employees Permanently Laid Off
Layoffs are always challenging for workers and employers. Through our Dislocated Worker Program, we help them both.
If you’re a worker who has been laid off (or notified that a layoff is coming) through no fault of your own, we offer services at no cost that focus on preparing you to find a suitable new job. Employees can contact the Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council to learn more about the program and connect with a local career advisor.

If you’re an employer facing a plant shutdown or large-scale layoff, we can help you proceed in an orderly and legal way and provide on-site services for your workers.

Watch this video or check out this website to learn more about the Dislocated Worker Program.

Virtual Career Fair
To assist in helping job seekers find employers that are hiring, we are exploring if there is interest in a Virtual Career Fair. If your company or organization is hiring and you would be interested in participating in a southwest Minnesota regional virtual career fair, please contact Denise Myhrberg at denise.myhrberg@state.mn.us!

State of Minnesota’s Free Online Job Bank
Last fall, DEED launched a new CareerForce website that provides resources and services you can access from your location. Since the Stay-at-Home order has been in effect, there has been a significant increase in the number of job seekers using the site and posting their resumes. All unemployment insurance applicants are strongly encouraged to utilize the site and it can be a great resource for employers that are hiring.
• Search the state’s largest online resume database for candidates that meet your requirements
• Use an option to “find more resumes like this”
• Opt to have interested career seekers apply via MinnesotaWorks.net or apply directly on your website
• Save resumes of candidates of interest to you

Online resources
CareerForceMN: Explore this website and its broad range of information and services, including business guidance, hiring resources, help with retention, and more.
Post a Job Guide: Find out how to post jobs to CareerForceMN.com and search Minnesota’s largest online resume database.
Create an Employer Profile: As an employer with a CareerForceMN.com account, you may create a profile page for your business or organization that will be part of a searchable employer list on CareerForceMN.com. It is an excellent opportunity to highlight your business or organization, open positions, bonuses or scholarship opportunities, and provide a direct link to your website.

DEED- UI Information for Employers Affected by COVID-1

DEED- Information about Unemployment Benefits for Workers Affected by COVID-19

DEED- Shared Work – alternative to layoff, Email: shared.work@state.mn.us