The pandemic has made an impact on the job market, affecting both students at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and members of the local community. Some people are referring to this as a job drought. 

In 2020, the pandemic caused many businesses to close and left many employees jobless. According to the Wall Street Journal, “The pandemic resulted in the permanent closure of roughly 200,000 U.S. establishments.”

 The economy suffered and is finally starting to recover two years later. Businesses are beginning to hire again, but much has changed since the pandemic’s beginning. 

    Zidane Tan, a junior majoring in accounting and finance, works at a local CPA firm. He previously worked at the STEP Lab at UL Lafayette. Due to the pandemic, fewer and fewer students are using the services, and he decided to find a better job. 

    “Getting some work experience that is related to my major, because I know it’ll be beneficial for me in the future,” Tan said.

    According to companies such as Adobe, Amazon, and Apple are switching to virtual work. It is now becoming increasingly common for people to choose to work from home. 

    Tan feels optimistic about the current changes in the job market. He thinks that the new options emerging that offer more opportunities to work remotely will be successful. 

    “I honestly like how people are starting to realize that not everyone has to go to an office to work,” Tan said.

    While some people choose to work from home or leave for a better job, others decided to quit altogether. Many factors such as wages, job conditions and new interests factored into a large number of people leaving their jobs. 

     The website Society for Human Resource Management explains, “Quitting has been especially high in hospitality, health care and logistics, as well as low-wage sectors in general, where workers have been taking advantage of strong demand to look for jobs with better pay or working conditions.”

 Dominique St. Andre, a senior majoring in accounting, decided to leave her job several months after the beginning of the pandemic and is currently not working. 

“At that time, I felt like my job wasn’t taking COVID-19 seriously and didn’t provide us with PPE until the day I decided to quit,” St. Andre said.

She explains that the current changes in the job market have affected her decisions about working in the future. 

 “The pandemic slightly changed my future plans while entering the job field with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting. I would rather work at a small accounting firm than a corporation if push comes to shove,” St. Andre stated. 

Higher wages and more flexibility are now typical at businesses looking to attract people looking for work. These changes are evident now that more places are reopening and seeking to hire new employees.