America’s job market is going through turbulent times. U.S. employers are facing the challenge of workers shortage and are finding it hard to attract and retain employees. However, some states are already getting back to normal.
Texas and Arizona are at Pre-Pandemic Employment Levels
In November 2021, Texas and Arizona joined Utah and Idaho in regaining pandemic job losses. Ratings agency Fitch reported this in their report. States like California and New York were at 70% and 60% of their pre-pandemic employment levels. Hence, Arizona and Texas have performed remarkably well in attracting workers back to work. This also highlights the uneven recovery among various states. States which were highly affected by COVID-19 and had stricter restrictions are finding it difficult to achieve pre-pandemic employment levels.
Fitch also reported that most of the states have recovered at least half of the lost jobs. Hawaii and Wyoming are among the exceptions. Hawaii relies mostly on tourism which is badly affected by pandemic and people are still reluctant to resume tourism. On the other hand, New York has a diversified workforce and COVID-19 caused massive job losses.
Arizona Going Strong in Recovery
Arizona is leading the nation in jobs gained and labor force growth since the unprecedented drop in employment at the start of the pandemic. “We’ve seen a full recovery in the labor force, meaning the labor force levels have exceeded pre-pandemic levels.” Doug Walls, Labor Market Information Director with the Office of Economic Opportunity said in his interview. Arizona’s labor force is at an all time high. 365,000 people are have employment or are actively seeking for a job.
The United States job market has regained more than 81% of the lost jobs. However, Arizona has regained 98% of the jobs lost during pandemic. Therefore, Arizona is witnessing faster growth and a relatively strong recovery rate.
Challenge for Leisure and Hospitality Sector
Leisure and hospitality sector was most affected by COVID-19. In most of the states, leisure and hospitality sector is still far behind in jobs recovery. In Arizona, the sector lost more than 150,000 jobs within a couple of months. The industry has gained 88% of its lost jobs .
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