Concerns risen over Tennessee’s jobs website, despite ‘demand across the board’

Special Reports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Federal unemployment pandemic assistance was ended in Tennessee this month by Governor Bill Lee, but jobs remain in demand.

The government website, Jobs4TN, has been the center of political rhetoric at times in the state.

While Governor Lee has praised the 250,000 available jobs, Democrats said they’re mostly low-wage and limited jobs.

“We have 250,000 jobs that fluctuate, so it’s almost a daily total,” said Deniece Thomas, Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Jobs4TN is designed to find placement and guidance in getting work.

“They range in the industry, from retail accommodations, food service up to it and healthcare — so it’s a very broad category of jobs that available,” Thomas said.

At times, the website has been treated as a political football both Democrats and Republicans pressed their concerns about the site.

“As a reminder, not every single job is there,” Thomas said. “Our hope is that we can get more jobs there that we can have a variation of jobs that pay obviously a higher wage. Everyone wants that, but it’s going to be a process for us to kind of help employers understand the importance of being on the website.”

Deputy Commissioner Thomas said she still wants unemployed Tennesseans to use the website especially if they’re starting over.

“Even with the jobs that are there, it’s really critical right now for individuals to get career counseling, or career guidance, or career expiration services because when you’re starting over in some instances you don’t know where to go or what’s the next move,” Thomas said.

According to state leaders, Tennessee has not seen a lot of new occupations or sectors that are driving demand for workers as the state rebounds from COVID-19.

“We’re seeing demand across a broad range of sectors. If you could imagine, right now, retail accommodations food services, any of those service type industries the demand is very high right now,” she said.

The website also helps with adult education and workforce training opportunities.

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce also made $4 million available for youth to get summer jobs.

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