NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York Governor Hochul called for workers in the city to get back in their offices for the New Year, with hybrid options.
"Come back to work we miss you," she told industry leaders at the Association for a Better New York breakfast on Thursday morning.
Hochul said she would be in Times Square on New Year's Eve to drop the ball "on a whole New Year. I can't wait to put 2020-2021 behind us."
But with the New Year and its celebration comes a time to get back to work in city offices, she said.
"How about this New Year's resolution, that in the days after New Year's, that we say everybody back in the office," she said. "You can have a flextime, but we need you back, at least the majority of the week. Come on back, New Yorkers, we miss you. And we will do our part."
The governor went on to say that the lack of workers in the city has been devastating to mom-and-pop businesses that relied on employees to buy goods and food.
"People need to know that in a place like New York City, the infection rate is 1%, people are vaccinated, they're getting their booster shots, they're wearing their masks walking down the street even when they're not required to," Hochul said. "They're doing all the right things, it is safe to come back."
Mayor-elect Eric Adams is also dreaming of a return to normal.
"We are not enjoying the excitement of being in New York, and I want to bring that excitement back," he said.
On the floor of Madison Square Garden Thursday, about 5,000 people showed up at a job fair organized by Roc Nation and the Reform Alliance featuring more than 60 companies.
"It's not uncommon to go to a restaurant and see signs up saying, 'We have a labor shortage, please bear with us,'" Reform Alliance CEO Robert Rooks said. "There's no labor shortage. These are people out here that want to work."
The New York City Metro Area unemployment rate is 6.8%, down from the pandemic high of 10.3% but still above the national average.
The most recent survey suggests only around 35% of workers are back to the office in the New York area.
The NFL is one company looking to fill more than 150 opportunities.
"The best way to collaborate and to integrate and to be more engaging within our own workforce is to be in the office," NFL Vice President of Talent Acquisition Carolina Pagano said. "There still is a challenge in finding the right candidates. There's still is a lack of individuals who are interested in coming back full time."
They're all in search of the perfect fit for both employees and employers.
"There are many business that need the support now that have survived the pandemic but now need to thrive," said Michael Preston, with the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce.