More Long Islanders working as employers step up hiring amid pandemic recovery
More Long Islanders are among the millions of Americans now working as employers look to shrug off COVID-19 and step up hiring.
At the Ocean Bay House in Bay Shore, the phone has been ringing almost nonstop.
Bookings have been strong at the bed and breakfast, and the trend doesn't seem to be slowing down as more people want to travel -- and that wanderlust seems to be spurring the economy.
In the October jobs report, non-farm payrolls increased by 531,000 jobs, pushing the unemployment rate down to 4.6%.
The positive growth was led by the hospitality sector where jobs seem to be plentiful.
Even at the Ocean Bay House, they're pondering putting out a help wanted sign.
"You know, if the numbers stay as they are and we only get busier, we will probably need an extra set of hands," says Elizabeth Flore, of the Ocean Bay House.
Even though the hospitality industry has seen surges in job growth, there are lots of restaurants on Long Island that say they still need help.
At the Pie at Salvatore's in Bay Shore, they've got multiple openings. In the meantime, some employees are working double shifts or working two positions just to keep up. Even if there has been lots of hiring nationwide in the hospitality sector, manager Christine Auricchio says at least in their business, it's not enough.
"I know a lot of people aren't even openning for lunch anymore because they just don't have the help," Auricchio says. "It's crazy, you know."
Hofstra economics professor Martin Melkonian says even if this latest jobs report looks positive, Washington needs to keep the economic gas flowing, especially with approving infrastructure spending.
"If those things get blocked, I think it will weaken the economy overall," Melkonian warns. "But at this moment things look pretty good."
The latest unemployment numbers for Long Island are from September, which was 4.2%, just slightly lower than the national average.