In July, employment within the nine casinos of Atlantic City was down over 15% due to the impact of COVID-19 on the industry. For the month, casinos employed a total 24,880 individuals, but of the numbers reported, many are still out of work due to current restrictions. As many as 4,261 or more are without a job in the region.
The employment numbers are sent to the Division of Gaming Enforcement each month by operators. Thousands of individuals are still on the books with an employer, but they are not actually at work. Restaurant and beverage service employees are basically playing a waiting game right now as restrictions keep them from getting back to work.
Bob McDevitt, the Unite Here Local 54 president, stated that most of the restaurant employees are just waiting. The labor union represents around 10,000 casino employees in Atlantic City and says that less than 50% of its members are working. According to McDevitt, Atlantic City may be down 5,000 jobs but there are more than 5,000 people that are not working.
Casino Association of New Jersey president and regional president of Caesars Entertainment Inc., Atlantic City, Steve Callender, commented that the employment situation will most likely not improve until the restrictions are eased in the state.
Callender pointed out that indoor dining is needed to help get more people into the casinos which would bring more people back to work. Industry data showed that just over 14,800 people are back in full-time positions and 1,446 are working part-time in July. The remaining 8,582 includes those who are hired for seasonal help as well as those who are furloughed.
Employees have been reaching out for help in the local community due to being without work. This Thursday, those affected can travel to Bader Field to receive assistance with food. The Local 54, along with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, AFL-CIO, and the Community Food Bank of New Jersey-Southern Branch, are holding the 7th mass distribution of food for those who are out of work.