Economists say that over time, the United States probably will employ the same overall number of people that the nation had pre-pandemic, but the specific jobs people do are likely to change. For the people who need to shift careers, it is a major life changes

“I’ve seen businesses who have told me they have been thinking about doing automation investments, but have decided this is the time to do it,” Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic told The Post. “We’ve seen real changes in the willingness of businesses to leverage technology to deliver their services.”

Bostic described a hospital in the Atlanta area that went from 3 percent of visits done via telehealth before the pandemic to 33 percent now, a shift that probably means the hospital cafe and parking area won’t need as many employees.

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For many, the career shift is driven by necessity.

Marco Leaver is a waiter at a top Miami hotel. He worked New Year’s Eve during the pandemic and served only two tables, a major letdown from the prior year when he made $800 in that single night.

Leaver, 21, doesn’t know whether business travel will ever be like it was before. He has read about the estimates from Bill Gates and others, but his biggest indicator is the near-empty restaurant around him — the same situation at most of the city’s hotels. He went from making $75,000 a year to about $20,000 as his hours were cut and tips dried up.

He wants options. In November, he got his real estate license, a path to a new career.

“I have a few clients now, so I might be able to transition into that,” Leaver said. “I never thought things could’ve possibly gotten this bad when the pandemic began.”


An earlier version of this story said Wall Street analysts say an automated Chewy warehouse needs about 10 percent of the workers of a traditional facility. This referred to processing and packaging work. The overall facility needs about a third of the workers of a traditional warehouse.

Feb. 17, 2021 at 12:58 p.m. EST