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Worker shortage pushing employers to raise wages

Help Wanted Sign (FILE)
Posted at 11:14 AM, Aug 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-10 14:14:42-04

The U.S. is seeing more job openings than ever before. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistcs, in June there were more than 10 million job openings.

Central Coast community members tell us their workplaces saw a worker shortage during the pandemic, and some workplaces even increased wages in order to attract employees.

Lorena Ledezm has been working at Urbane Cafe for about 4 months, during that time she says they have been constantly looking for employees.

"I've been hiring since I got here. As of right now I'm looking for like 5 cashiers if possible open availability...but 5-6 cashiers and two preps and then two more line cooks a night," said Lorena Ledezma, Urbane Cafe General Manager.

She says they are usually not this short-staffed but they are having a hard time finding workers in the restaurant industry.

"I would probably say it is a little bit unusual just because there's a lot of people that are not working right now but it is harder for them to or for any restaurant actually to find employees when they wanna stay and they wanna work," said Ledezma.

One of their solutions is to increase wages for employees.

"It does depends on experience but we are definitely giving a higher rate than before the pandemic," said Ledezma.

Logan Sadler, a worker at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory says more than half of the people he worked with did not come back when the business reopened.

"There was only 3 of us that came back from I think we had about 7 workers and only three of us returned," Logan Sadler, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory worker.

He thinks the unemployment checks people are receiving could be preventing them from returning to a job that pays them less.

"It's not the money. I know plenty of people who want to go back to work right now but it's not worth it for how much we make," said Sadler.

Experts say people are not getting back to work due to several possible factors including expanded federal jobless aid, lingering health concerns, and difficulty finding childcare.