Despite Labor Shortage, Thousands of Washington State Residents say They Can’t Find a job

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Let’s be clear: states that subsidize not working have workers who say they cannot find work. 

Quoting the Apostle Paul: “If anyone isn’t willing to work, he should not eat.”

An empty belly is quite a motivator for anti-laziness. 

Like hundreds of thousands of other Washingtonians, Priscilla Bell, a personal trainer in Seattle, lost her job during the first chaotic weeks of the pandemic last year.

But unlike many of those laid off due to COVID-19, Bell hasn’t been able to find work since, despite an intensive job search that started when gyms partially reopened for the first time last August.

Instead, the 58-year-old is among nearly a quarter-million Washingtonians who’ve experienced long-term unemployment during the pandemic — and who often don’t know how, or if, they’ll be able to get back to work.

“My faith in the job market is not very high right now,” says Bell.

It’s one of the pandemic’s biggest economic puzzles. Washington is recovering from the COVID-19 recession so strongly that labor shortages are showing up in industries ranging from food service and warehouses to accounting and finance.