coronavirus pandemic

Where Are San Diego's Jobs?

Millions of Californians have lost their jobs because of the pandemic, so NBC 7 Responds looked at which sectors are still hiring

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San Diego's unemployment rate is at an all-time high. At least 460,000 people in the county have lost their jobs since the coronavirus pandemic began in March, but some companies are still looking for workers.

"We were all very pleasantly surprised by the number of companies that are hiring," said the COO of San Diego's Economic Development Corporation Lauree Sahba.

San Diego's EDC has a new initiative that tries to bring together local companies and job seekers called San Diego Life-Changing. Sahba says many of the jobs are STEM jobs focusing on science and technology, but all kinds of positions are listed. Because of the pandemic, many companies are trying to find people already in San Diego.

"Many companies are looking to hire locally because it's difficult to move right now," Sahba said. "There's a nationwide shortage of engineering talent and some of the more technically skilled workforce, so the competition for those people is fierce."

One of the companies still hiring during the pandemic is Fuse Integration. The company does a lot of aviation and software contracting with the Department of Defense.

"We're looking for software engineers, network engineers, and a couple of other engineering positions," said Fuse Integration CEO Sumner Lee.

The application process looks a little different right now. Because of the pandemic, there is a new emphasis on online interviews. Fuse's Deputy Operations Officer has some tips for applicants.

"It's the same as almost any interview," said Fuse's Natalie Caruso. "You've got to practice. Make sure the camera is going to be at the right angle, make sure you can be heard."

Caruso says you do not want to start the interview with technical issues, so make sure your system is working before the call.

"You have to be able to highlight your skills," Lee said. "As well as highlighting your desire to get out there and make a difference."

Fuse has already hired several new employees and has a few more positions available, but Lee says they are looking for people with work experience, not recent college graduates.

Sahba hopes the EDC website helps connect people to companies.

"If you're a company, go there and register your positions," Sahba said. "If you're a job seeker, go there and take a look at what's available."

Right now, the posted jobs include STEM fields, sales and marketing, accountants, and even manufacturing.

You can find out more on the EDC's website here.

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