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A Rare Labor Day

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From the Editor, 9/6/21

A typical Labor Day picnic in America used to end with familiar grumbles about going back to work after a long weekend. Pre-pandemic, a good job was something everyone was worried about keeping. In Wellsville, layoffs have been so normalized over the last thirty years that a good job was not taken for granted in any sense.

Fast forward to Labor Day 2021: The part-time labor market has basically collapsed, service industries are now limiting operations due to labor shortages. Many sectors of the economy, take trucking for example, are offering the moon and the stars just to get drivers into trucks. The entire food industry, from meat packers to grocers to sous chefs, is in a state of chaos. Grocery stores can’t keep up with the increased demand and the decreased labor pool. Meanwhile restaurants are directly impacted by the daily news like never before, waiting for the next round of bad news. Every bit of bad news keeps more workers and customers home.

Half the workforce is slightly irritated. Many never stopped working and have likely worked harder than ever since Covid-19 blessed us with a plague. They’ve watched a huge segment of the nation refuse to return to daily work, for a variety of reasons, some purely advantageous. Help wanted ads have gone unanswered, wages have skyrocketed, and since mid-2020 many Americans have remained home surviving off a pandemic unemployment program.

Ironically, that unemployment program ended yesterday and millions of Americans, about 1.6 million New Yorkers, will no longer be receiving that payment. How many will race back into the labor market is unclear. Childcare concerns and the uncertainty about how public schools will function will certainly keep some workers on the sidelines. Workers with common co-morbidities are still worried that returning to work will be a fatal decision. Suddenly labor in America is much more complicated than the nine to five work day.

Will workers ease back into working via the “gig economy?” Will employers realize a sudden influx of labor that will alleviate the hardships caused by Covid or will this bizarre jobs market persist in the great unknown? Most importantly will you go back to work soon? Email us your situation, anonymous or not: [email protected]

PS… Walker Services has almost 100 Jobs in all different industries available now!! Don’t wait until these great paying jobs are gone.

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