Shortage is the big word for 2021. Toilet paper, gasoline and workers.

Some people are really struggling and it's sad but others are getting comfortable being unemployed and that's a problem for our local economy.

I want to start off by saying that I feel terrible for anyone whose life got completely turned upside down by this pandemic. We all have dealt with adversity in our own way. I'm fully aware that some have had it far worse than others over the past year.

Many Hudson Valley residents either lost a loved one to COVID-19 or lost their job or even both. Both of those are unfortunate circumstances and there's period of grief involved. When is it time to pick back up and move forward?

The state's unemployment rate was at nearly 9% back in February. Dutchess and Putman County were at 6.3%, Orange County- Rockland- Westchester was at 6.8% and Kingston was at 6.8 as well.

As of March, those numbers have decreased but not by much according the Department of Labor.

The reality is that we're starting to pass the coronavirus pandemic and it will soon be in the rearview. I can't help but wonder if there are many people who don't want to go back to reality. Especially if their reality before the pandemic was never that good to begin with.

Business are starting to reopen and need labor.

I've seen countless job postings, listings on social media and even signs posted on local businesses in desperate need for employees. If you type "Hiring in the Hudson Valley you'll get bombarded with hundreds of local job opportunities as well.

You can't say that no one is hiring because of the pandemic. That's not an excuse unless that Google search offered zero results.

Why aren't people filling these positions? Are they over qualified or underqualified? Are people too picky because they make more on unemployment? If companies are paying livable wages then that's a separate issue entirely that needs to be addressed. According to CNBC, Dow estimated that there is around 1 million jobs new jobs and as of last month only about 260,000 were filled.

There is nothing wrong with getting assistance but if you should be able to get back into the workforce if you qualify.


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