In March 2020, employees across the country packed up their offices, and "Zoom calls" and "you're on mute" entered our daily lexicon. Yet, millions of low-wage workers were deemed essential and reported to their jobs. Workers like farm laborers, meat packers, grocery clerks, retail associates, fast food workers, and janitors. They all risked exposure to COVID-19, and often faced hostile work environments due to enforcing public health mandates.
As Ohio begins to reopen, unfilled job postings in these sectors have made national news, especially in seasonal tourism, hospitality, and retail. Low wages, unreliable schedules, lack of childcare, supply-chain disruptions, and even an over-reliance on Pandemic Unemployment Compensation have all been cited as possible causes. Others point to data from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, which shows six months of stalled job growth, questioning claims of a job glut at all. Still, employers are trying to find new ways to attract workers, and questions have resurfaced about job quality and what constitutes a living wage.
Join the City Club in Public Square as we discuss the future of essential work in today's economy.
The livestream will be available on our Facebook page beginning at 12:00 p.m. Have questions? Tweet them at @TheCityClub or send a text to 330.541.5794.
Rain doesn't stop the show! Our rain location is Old Stone Church, located at right on Public Square at 91 Public Square, Cleveland, Ohio, 44113.