By Christiane Cordero

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As Minnesota continues its recovery from more than a year of dealing with pandemic-related restrictions, employers are working hard to fill jobs.

At a job fair Tuesday in St. Paul, recruiters were trying to entice potential employees with the promise of higher pay and benefits. Employers at the fair included The U.S. Postal Service, the city of St. Paul, the Air National Guard, and Medica.

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Steve Grove, the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, was at the fair, which was hosted at Allianz Field. He says the current labor shortage has pushed employers to increase pay and benefits for the jobs they want filled.

According to Grove, the reasons why supply is so much greater than demand is because of child care costs, issues surrounding flexibility, and lingering safety concerns. Also, industry analysts say that enhanced unemployment benefits pay a significant factor.

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Among those looking for work at the job fair were recent high school graduates who aren’t immediately interested in going to college.

“If I go to college, I just know that I’m just going into debt, debt, debt,” said Prince Sandria, who plans to save money and buy real estate.

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Paige Nelson says she wants to go to college, but she’s not sure where yet. “In the meantime, I want to look for a job,” she said.