Norwich area jobs go unfilled in hospitality industry as COVID remains

Cecilia Nysing

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the job losses were stark.

As offices awaited guidance and businesses in sectors such as the hospitality were forced to close the state lost 292,400 jobs in March and April 2020, according to the Connecticut Department of Labor. Numbers indicate that while there was a hiccup in the recovery from November to February, the state has since recovered 196,400 of those lost jobs. Now even 17 months the state is still working on job recovery as employment remains less than pre-pandemic levels in all sectors.

In an Aug. 27 press release from the Connecticut Department of Labor, the organization announced that certain unemployment benefits are ending, with the CARES Act ending Sept. 4 and High Extended Benefits ending Sept. 11. In the announcement, interim Commissioner Danté Bartolomeo was confident about how people were re-entering the workforce.

“There are thousands of jobs being added weekly, so it’s a very good time for people to find that great new job—or even launch a new career,” Bartolomeo said in the release.

With hope more jobs will be filled, Tony Sheridan, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, said there’s still anxiety impacting how people are returning to the workforce, and concerns from businesses about the delta variant. Sheridan is hopeful about the situation. While there’s still concerns in certain sectors, like hotels and restaurants, Sheridan is seeing a recovery in other areas in eastern Connecticut, like tourism in Mystic, and real estate region-wide.

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