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More doors open for Tucsonans looking for work after the pandemic

More doors open for Tucsonans looking for work after the pandemic
Posted at 5:15 PM, Oct 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-11 11:59:03-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — We are bouncing back from the pandemic: data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows a brightened outlook for Arizona’s economy. New Arizona unemployment claims have dropped by 70% compared to this time last year.

“When I needed to find a job, it kind of just fell into my lap it wasn’t hard at all, said David Clark, a server at the Delta. "Especially now, people are hiring.”

Tucson is a major contributor. As the city continues to grow - more new businesses are popping up. Including an upcoming southern restaurant in downtown called the Delta.

“We worked downtown when I first got to Tucson, and I wanted to go back down there and have southern food from scratch,” said Steve Dunn, Co-founder and Owner of The Parish.

Steve Dunn owns the Parish restaurant in northwest Tucson - and plans to open the Delta by the end of October. He’s looking to hire around 40 employees.

“We’re seeing a lot more applications come in recently and it's been a great process there are lots of people out there and we have our choice of who wants to work and who doesn't,” Dunn said.

The Delta is one of nine new restaurants that opened this year. These openings create a lot of new opportunities for service workers who lost their jobs in the pandemic.

“I was working downtown at the Independent Distillery prior to the pandemic," said Justin Rivera, a bartender at the Delta. "Unfortunately they didn’t make it through the lockdown so I was unemployed for about a year, so I'm super excited to be back downtown, working for this Delta project.”

Plenty of major chains are also expanding in Tucson. Last month, UPS announced it will soon hire 690 Tucsonans, and CVS plans to hire 600 Arizonans. Also, the long-awaited Amazon facility near the Tucson airport will employ hundreds of locals.

“To be back and working, even if it was 10-hour shifts with a mask on, it was fine with me,” Clark said.