Employers set up a job fair hoping the end of federal pandemic-aid payments Sept. 4 might finally send prospective hires their way. The hotel and restaurant industries have struggled to find staff, as downtowns have cautiously reopened. On Friday, some businesses even offered $500 hiring bonuses. But the Meadowlands job fair turnout — despite a big ad campaign — was “disappointing.” Some analysts think concerns over COVID-19 are the major factor keeping people from re-entering the job market.
“There’s a new mindset of people COVID created after having us locked down for 18 months. I think childcare comes into play. I think the extra unemployment came into play. I think there’s a number of factors — people are looking for something more,” said Jim Kirkos, president and CEO of Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce.