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Central Coast businesses struggle to bring on new staff despite nationwide job growth

Posted at 5:53 PM, Aug 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-05 22:28:07-04

New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found the national economy added 528,000 jobs last month. Still, their report also revealed that the number of job openings in the country far surpasses the number of people looking for work.

The owners of Perfetto Caffe in Grover Beach said their staff has been stretched thin during their employee search, forcing them to reconsider their approach to bringing on new workers.

"We are seeing like; in the last six months it has been really hard to find people that want to work." said store owner, Laura Zuffi.

This week their coffee shop posted new job openings online, but so far there has been little interest.

"We mostly need people in the mornings and the weekend, and we are really having a hard time covering all the shifts."

The owners of Ashtie's Beach Shack in Pismo Beach say they have had a bit of better luck.

"We just put the ad in this week." said owner, Cat Wexler. "I actually have an interview later today and another one on Monday, so we are getting a lot of feedback."

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average hourly earnings rose 0.5% from the previous month and were up 5.2% over the past year.

Cat Wexler tells KSBY that offering higher wages helped them draw in more interest for their openings.

"We have always offered a good wage to people, always a few dollars over minimum wage and more for management," Wexler added.

Meanwhile, Perfetto Caffe hopes rearranging their schedule to offer more flexible hours peaks the interest of more applicants.

"Instead of maybe having a few people covering longer shifts, we need to have more people covering shorter shifts," Zuffi told KSBY.

They also say the start of the new school year has decreased the availability of prospective employees.

Despite the slow hiring processes seen in San Luis Obispo County, that same report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found last month's job gains were more than double what was expected, with the most hiring found among jobs in leisure and hospitality.

The report also found a nationwide dip in filling city and county government positions, with industry jobs nearly 600,000 lower than pre-pandemic levels.