Remote work, labor market make attracting candidates a challenge

Julie Garrett is a supervising examiner for the Monroe County Department of Human Services and manages a staff of twelve people who determine initial and ongoing eligibility for SNAP and Medicaid. The small team she leads is short by two examiners, but considers her unit fortunate compared to others.

“There are two teams on my floor that are down by seven people ― almost half of their staff.”

Because of those vacancies, Garrett and her group have to spend more time helping with extra work. “Caseloads are ridiculously high right now. More people are coming in to apply for benefits.”

Are there still childcare issues? Early retirements? Long Covid? Was the pandemic the catalyst for a perfect storm that strengthened the labor market for workers and weakened it for employers that have not yet made adjustments to meet the demands of a changed workforce? Or has the ease of remote work simply tipped the scales, allowing people to work wherever they want ― from anywhere?

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