Despite recent job bump, some still struggle to find employment amid pandemic

Coronavirus Local Impact

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Over 300,000 jobs were added to the labor market last month, according to the new numbers put out by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

Kevin Lynn, the executive director at the MassHire Springfield branch said these numbers only scratch the surface of a much broader issue.

For example, unemployment stayed virtually the same at 6.2 percent. However, Lynn said that number doesn’t factor in the people who have stopped looking for work.

Lynn said that there are employers looking to bring in new workers, but some people are hesitant to apply, telling 22News, “People are scared of COVID-19. That’s playing into it. In some cases, people are making more money on unemployment than they are actually making in their old jobs. So there’s not a lot of incentive to go to work.”

Lynn said Springfield is being especially hit hard when it comes to unemployment, and he said the digital divide is only making matters worse. Where not having easy access to the internet could mean you can’t even apply for jobs.

He said what people who are unemployed can do right now, is invest in skill-building to better prepare themselves for when they are ready to head back into the market.

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