From the Asbury Park Press:
It’s been more than a year since Ken Gaughran lost his job in radio promotions due to the pandemic, and he is slowly losing hope of getting back into that field.
So in recent months, the 27-year-old Toms River resident has searched for employers that offer a decent wage and benefits, all while wondering how long he can wait before he needs to search for a restaurant or retail job.
“We all had our careers, now what are we going to do?” Gaughran said. “They’re gone. That’s been the toughest part.”
If Gaughran sounds confused, he’s not alone. New Jersey’s labor market continued to emerge from its pandemic freeze in June, gaining thousands of jobs and convincing more unemployed workers to get off the sidelines.
But the state’s job growth doesn’t appear to be fast enough to bring relief to employers who have struggled to find enough staff to operate.
And a state report provided little clarity about what the post-pandemic economy will look like. Will workers surge back into the labor force in September when schools reopen and enhanced federal unemployment benefits expire? Or are they in the same boat as Guaghran, wondering if their careers are gone?