Unemployed and looking for work? About 2,000 jobs are available in the Topeka area.

During the Greater Topeka Partnership’s annual Economic Outlook Conference on Friday, Freddy Mawyin, the GTP’s research manager, revealed 4,681 workers in Shawnee County remain out of a job.

“Small businesses are under severe financial stress,” he said, “and a large pool of workers have not yet recovered from the recession.”

The county’s unemployment rate in October was just over 5{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} — a notable drop from the 12.2{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} unemployment rate seen in April.

Mawyin indicated local employment numbers are “slowly improving.” Still, he said, it could be the second quarter of 2021 before local employment returns to pre-pandemic rates.

That information left some wondering about Topeka and Shawnee County’s current job market. Are there jobs out there for local unemployed workers, or do openings remain scarce?

How many jobs are available in Topeka and Shawnee County?

According to the public job-matching website KANSASWORKS, there are more than 1,800 job openings in Shawnee County and more than 2,300 jobs within 25 miles of Topeka, though transportation may be a barrier for some job seekers.

Barbara Stapleton, the Greater Topeka Partnership’s vice president of business retention and talent initiatives, said many local job openings are “pretty good positions” that may result in decent income.

“Employers are really needing candidates,” Stapleton said, adding that connecting employers with candidates hasn’t always been easy.

Diana Ramirez, owner of Express Employment Professionals, 2300 S.W. 29th St. #100, works to match employers with potential employees Wednesday. Ramirez said her staffing agency is currently recruiting for about 150 jobs in the Topeka area.

Diana Ramirez, owner of staffing agency Express Employment Professionals in Topeka, said her agency is currently advertising about 150 open positions in Shawnee County, and she has been “busier than ever this last quarter” trying to match job seekers with employment opportunities.

Of those 150 openings, which represent 77 different businesses, Ramirez said, about 50{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} are “evaluation-to-hire,” about 10{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} are “direct-to-hire” and close to 40{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} are temporary work.

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