The promise of the vaccine may bring back many aspects of our life from The Before Time — concerts, gyms, restaurants, and the movies. Many Americans are also hoping that herd immunity brings with it something else: the promise of work.
Over the past year, the pandemic has decimated jobs across the country, especially low-wage occupations in industries like hospitality, travel, and oil and gas drilling. The job losses have hit women and nonwhite workers particularly hard.
Many unemployed workers have said that they might not return to their fields after the pandemic is over, which means they will require retraining. Though many of them have yet to flock to retraining programs, some experts believe that dynamic could change this year. At the same time, the nation has seen a shortage of candidates in skilled labor like nursing and the trades. And in May, another class of undergraduates will walk across a real or virtual stage to collect a diploma and prepare to step out into the real world to look for a career. With an unemployment rate among recent graduates that’s worse than what it was after the Great Recession, some may seek additional certifications or training just to be competitive in the job market.