Road Logistics

Ooms: The area is improving, but road bumps remain | Business

Teri Ohms, secretary-general of the Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development, said rising wages and lower unemployment in the region are signs that the economy is returning to normal.

However, Ooms, who spoke virtually at the 16th Indicators Forum on Tuesday, said road uplifts in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties still remain during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like the national trend, she said the region continues to address labor issues, and there is no one reason.

“Some people are locked out of the workforce due to childcare, education and transportation issues,” Ooms said. “And some industries are taking longer to recover than others.”

Ooms said childcare and transportation were “indignant at COVID.”

“Fear is another factor that keeps some workers away from the workplace, especially those with low-paying jobs that require more public interaction or work in densely populated areas. That’s right, “she said.

Low wages are causing trouble for some people, Ooms said. She said the “living wage” should be at least $ 20 per hour for parents of one child. Still, she said, about 25% of households in the area earn less than $ 25,000 a year.

Ooms said low-paying jobs found some “financial comfort” in the amount of unemployment compensation benefits they received during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Some people’s lives have become easier,” she said, because the need to choose less from food, housing, and medicine.

In 2020, Ooms said more than 9,300 jobs in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties were in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) jobs.

“We see steady investment in new technologies and start-ups in the region,” she said.

The Indicators Forum also featured presentations from Task Force chairs, including Jobs, the Economic and Economic Development Task Force Chair Rob Luciani.

Luciani said his task force looked at how the pandemic accelerated economic change. This includes the use of remote work, automation and adaptation of new technologies, and the growing importance of e-commerce and the growing logistics industry.

Read More: Ooms: The area is improving, but road bumps remain | Business

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