HOUSTON – U.S. Navy veteran Charles Cummings of Seabrook is scouring job websites every day hoping he’ll find a job. The 49-year old has been out of work for eight weeks now.
“It’s pretty damn difficult, to be honest,” he said. “It’s harsh out there."
Cummings is an experienced, chemical loading operator, and like more than two million other Texans, he’s looking for work. He’s applied for over 250 jobs in eight states and, so far, hasn’t found anything. So he just keeps looking.
He’s just one man caught in the middle of an unemployment emergency in this country. A staggering 20.5 million jobs disappeared in April alone, which brought the national unemployment rate to just under 15%, a level not seen since the Great Depression.
Minorities have been hit the hardest:
- 18.9% of Hispanics out of work
- 16.7% of African-Americans out of work
But in Texas, there are jobs available. Governor Greg Abbott is touting a new website that lists just under half a million jobs available right now across the state, including positions in technology, healthcare, finance, aerospace, manufacturing, food stores, and warehouses.
Job counselors can also help your job search. Michelle Castrow with Workforce Solutions and her staff of close to 1,000 people use the state website and other sites to help people find a job.
“We are the public workforce system for the entire Houston-Galveston region, meaning just like the public library or public education system, we are here to serve, and there is no cost to take advantage of our services," she said.
Within five minutes of searching, Charles Cummings found a job as a meat cutter at H-E-B that he’d be interested in on the state website. It’s not his ideal job, but he just wants to get back working again.
“I mean it’s a big competition out there,” he said. “Now everybody’s kind of hesitant to hire right now with all the COVID-19 scare."
If you or someone you know is looking for a job, you can visit the Work In Texas website to search hundreds of thousands of jobs around the state.