As a sign of the times we live in, it is hard to ride around these days without seeing signs in front of restaurants, service establishments and other types of businesses seeking applicants for immediate employment for all shifts. It is an anomaly that – as we approach a (hopefully) post-pandemic economy with an unemployment rate of 6% (through April 2021) – so many businesses are desperate to find workers so they can fully reopen or at least think about it.
During most of 2019, the U.S. unemployment rate was steady at 3.7-3.8%. It remained there for the first two months of 2020 as well, but then, ominously, the number jumped from just below 4% in February 2020 to just above 4% in March. That was the tip of the iceberg. As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, unemployment by April 2020 soared to 15% as much of America closed shop and tried to figure out how to survive the pandemic – in physical and financial health. Both have been a difficult challenge to large swaths of our population.