Independent contractors, freelancers and self-employed people who have suffered financially in the pandemic were allowed to file for financial assistance through the state on Tuesday. Almost 20 percent of California's workforce has filed for unemployment since the middle of last month.
Brittney Mothersill was laid off about 10 days ago after working for three and a half years as a medical scribe and assistant at Borrego Health, in El Cajon.
"I was heartbroken … all I knew was to get up go to work … just the routine, so then it was like, 'What am I supposed to do with myself?' " Mothersill said.
After a few days of crying, Mothersill picked herself back up and started applying for jobs. So far, she has applied for about 15, both in and out of the medical field, and has one interview lined up.
"I was applying for anything that would get me in the door, so I wouldn’t have to sit at home," Mothersill said.
Right now California's unemployment rate is the highest it's been since 1976. Despite those grim numbers, hiring experts said there's still some hope. An official with Manpower, a local staffing agency, said the company is looking for applicants for jobs in IT, manufacturing, production and other industries.
"There are a lot of companies and industries that are hiring right now," said Phil Blair, CEO of Manpower. "We hear about grocery stores, we hear about Target, we hear about Walmart, we hear about Amazon."
Blair is also encouraging people who are in between jobs to use the time off to think about their future. He said that taking online courses to help show future employers that you used the gap in your employment productively is also important.
Mothersill said that in addition to looking for jobs, she's finally putting in applications for nursing school.
"I always say, 'You have to manifest what you want,' so I’m manifesting that I’m going to be a nurse really, really soon -- so I’m really excited about it," Mothersill said.
Blair said that people looking for jobs should also consider temporary work for 3-6 months that might help hold them over until the economy gradually starts opening up again.