Career changes could be contributing factor to stagnant hiring trends

In the most recent jobs report, U.S. employers added 194,000 jobs in September. Some economists were expecting potentially 500,000 jobs added.
Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 5:53 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 11, 2021 at 6:23 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Another lackluster national job report was filed last week for the month of September. 194,000 jobs were added in September, well below the half-million mark some economists were expecting.

Some experts hoped September would be the month jobs and employment would bounce back after federal pandemic benefits ended. But it seems other factors are impacting the job market more than additional benefits.

Experts say employment can be affected by many things including, fears of COVID-19 still spreading, wanting remote jobs and difficulty finding child care. But many are choosing to change careers altogether.

“COVID kind of rocked my world. Realized I didn’t want to be in that position anymore,” said Brian Lorusso. “It really opened up how fragile the restaurant industry was.”

Brian Lorusso left his job of 15 years during the pandemic. He worked for the same restaurant group as a hospitality expert and master bartender for a majority of his career. But he says the unknown of the pandemic was earth-shattering. He decided he wanted better hours and more stability, so he went back to school.

Many experts in career coaching and therapists say he’s not the only one.

“I think COVID and shutting down and all those other things that happened. Like Black Lives Matter, a lot of fear in the world, a lot of danger in the world,” said Holly Hughes, an author and intuitive healer. She says those factors impacted people to ask themselves the tough questions.

“‘Am I being who I want to be? Am I living the life I want to live?’ And some brave people are changing their careers because of that,” she said.

Lorusso took a 6-month intensive course at UNCC for cyber security. He says cyber security was in need of more qualified workers but now he’s having trouble finding a job.

“Everyone wants experience. It’s the chicken and egg debate, like how do you get the experience,” he asked. “People like me who went back and get the training they needed to make the career change are finding some closed doors right now. Hopefully that’s going to change soon.”

All of this put together causes a strain on the economy. Companies are desperate to hire and many without jobs can’t find ones they want.

The U.S. Labor Secretary says they’re hard at work to figure out what’s next.

“I think all of us are living in a pandemic time. We’re trying to figure out what’s happened here. And there’s no roadmap,” said U.S. Labor Secretary, Marty Walsh.

Hughes says if you are planning to change careers, she recommends not quitting your current job until you have another lined up.

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