One of the most corrosive effects of the Coronavirus pandemic in the United States has been its impact on the employment market.
Latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the jobless rate has gone up 7.6% since February and the number of unemployed people has risen 12 million over the same period.
They recognized immediately the impact that Covid-19 would have on the people who rely on the gig economy for work.
GigSmart, a business based in Denver, CO, helps companies to source and hire on-demand workers. It recognized immediately the impact that Covid-19 would have on the people who rely on the gig economy for work.
In response, it created a Coronavirus Unemployment Resource Center. Anyone who needs information about the benefits available to them as a result of Covid-19 can use it to access state-specific guidance.
What led to the creation of the resource center?
As soon as stay-home orders were issued across the United States, it was clear a large number of people would be left without work.
This measure also meant numerous families would be impacted by institutions such as schools closing down. It became impossible for people to turn up for a shift at work if they also had to stay home to look after their children. Similarly, if your business was deemed non-essential and, therefore, unable to operate, your job would be put at risk.
“It was scary to think about the cause and effects of a global pandemic – and how drastically life as we formerly knew it was about to change.”
“There was fear, nervousness, and uncertainty,” said Jenay Sellers, Director of Marketing at GigSmart. “It was scary to think about the cause and effects of a global pandemic – and how drastically life as we formerly knew it was about to change.”
Given that GigSmart is a business that delivers solutions for the gig economy, its people were acutely aware that the marketplace was about to undergo both positive and negative shifts.
“We wanted to get the word out about our services, both for businesses quickly looking to scale, and for displaced workers who may need to look at alternative means to make ends meet,” Jenay added.
The Coronavirus Unemployment Resource Center can be accessed at https://gigsmart.com/workers/resources/employment-resources/ Visitors can learn how to file for unemployment benefits in their state, as well as being able to search for part-time and full-time job opportunities in their area.
How big an impact has the resource center had?
“I wish we could have launched it sooner,” admitted Sellers. “There are lots of changing dynamics – what funding is available, how to apply, etc., that make it hard to stay on top of all the updates for each state in the US.”
With the situation regarding Covid-19 changing so rapidly, it’s not always possible to be confident that the information being presented is completely up to date.
However, GigSmart has pivoted as quickly as possible in response to the crisis. The use of its app has shifted dramatically, and in alignment with industries that are still operating during the pandemic.
The company has been able to place workers in warehouses as food delivery or food service workers. GigSmart has adapted to changes in supply and demand and connected businesses to temporary workers at their moment of need.
What difference has GigSmart been able to make?
The company wants to help as many people as possible and is eager to promote its resources. But, while there is still more work to be done, there are already positive examples of people who have benefited.
The resource center has received more than 4,500 page views, with more than 3,600 of those being unique users. The company has also notified its user base about the center – it has more than 200,000 workers using its Get Gigs app.
“We’ve heard real stories from the people we help. Whether they are battling addiction, financial hardship, or a troubling past, our app gives them real opportunities where they can complete gigs to earn money and provide for their families.”
“I’m proud to give Americans a real solution for connecting businesses that need workers with people looking for work,” said Sellers. “We’ve heard real stories from the people we help. Whether they are battling addiction, financial hardship, or a troubling past, our app gives them real opportunities where they can complete gigs to earn money and provide for their families.”
How can people help?
GigSmart is keen to promote the Coronavirus Unemployment Resource Center to as wide an audience as possible. That way it can maximize the help it can offer to those suffering as a result of the economic difficulties brought on by Covid-19.
Individuals can utilize the resource here: https://gigsmart.com/workers/resources/employment-resources/
And share with friends and family to increase its reach and impact.