During the Coronavirus crisis, people in some sectors of the economy have been able to work from home by using the Internet. It is too soon to know how many people will continue to work from home after the current crisis is over. People who are able to work from home have what are now called telework-capable jobs. According to an analysis from the New York City Planning Department (NYC Planning), an estimated 3.7 million people in the metropolitan area have telework-capable jobs. That figure includes about 35 percent of total employment in our region. The same study estimates that to 35 percent of Bayonne residents have telework-capable jobs.
We know that many Bayonne residents are working from home. Since March, there have been fewer people taking buses, Light Rail, and PATH to get to work. Mass transit systems across the country have reported declining revenues from fares. Public transit will need greater funding to stay in business until something like the old normal returns. Otherwise, there will be drastic cuts in service. Jobs in transit are among those that cannot be done from home.
If 30 to 35 percent of Bayonne residents have jobs that can be done from home, that means that 65 to 70 percent have jobs that must be done outside the home, if they still have those jobs. NYC Planning suggests that jobs in education, professional and technical services, finance and insurance are most likely to be done from home. By contrast, jobs in the hotel and restaurant trades, arts and entertainment, and construction must generally be done outside the home. An email will not pour you a drink, cook your dinner, clean your hotel room, or install your plumbing.
Throughout the Coronavirus emergency, I have been very concerned about the economic impact of the crisis. In many trades, the owners and workers have been suffering. Several businesses that provide customers with goods and services in person have been losing jobs and money. I hope that the two political parties and both houses in Congress will be able to agree on a new economic relief package. We need something that will help our local businesses and jobs stay alive.
I urge people who are working from home and everyone else in Bayonne to patronize our local businesses. Shop in our local stores. Order food and beverages for home delivery from our Bayonne establishments. By supporting each other, we can make it through these tough times.