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COVID-19 negatively affected the job market and continues to dampen everyone’s plans for a smooth transition back to normal life. In addition, the new Delta and Mu variants of the virus pose a threat to economic stability. As a result, labor, the driving force of the United States economy, hangs in the balance.
The Unemployment Cushion
Many businesses have struggled due to a labor shortage partially caused by lucrative unemployment benefits from the government. The 18-month long unemployment benefits, which included a mixture of $600 during the summer of 2020 and $300 after that, some other perks for jobless Americans have run dry.
The Supreme Court denied an extension of these benefits, and now many are jostling around for solutions to fill that void. Unfortunately, this also includes the moratorium on rent ending, meaning some may be out of a place to stay if they do not get back into the job market soon. Only Congress can step in now and do something to remedy this situation.
Even with COVID-19’s effect on the job market, many employers are optimistic. Some hope the lack of benefits will encourage people to come back to work.
Some of the industries hardest hit by the pandemic are services like nursing, restaurants, and fast-food chains whose employees decided to walk out over the low wages. COVID-19 changed many people’s attitudes on employment. Some realized they no longer prefer the long hours at work.
Some are reluctant to come back to work at all. They have dealt with the pandemic for over a year and coming up with other income streams that give them peace of mind and make them their own boss. For the others who solely relied on biweekly relief checks, now is the time to start developing these alternative income streams or find a stable job.
Written by Chiagozie Onyewuchi
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
CNN: The government’s pandemic help has run out; by Zachary B. Wolf
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Mike Mozarts Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Dan Keck’s Flickr Page – Public Domain License