Worker shortages force businesses to struggle during pandemic recovery

Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 7:02 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - As America appears to be rebounding from the pandemic, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that at the end of April there were more than 9.3 million job openings and 9.8 million unemployed Americans.

Workers are not returning to their jobs, leaving many employers struggling. During the pandemic recovery, businesses that have reopened are finding themselves in a crisis of sorts - a worker shortage.

“I have noticed and it makes it a little uncomfortable,” said Julian Johnson.

The Vicksburg resident is seeing “now hiring” signs popping up more and experienced the inconveniences that comes along with businesses being short-staffed.

“Almost everywhere you go, either they’re out of people that work and they’re actually having to shut down early,” said Johnson. “I’ve actually pulled up to places and they’ve had signs on the door saying be knowledgeable or patient with them because they are so short-staffed.”

Large job openings range from the trucking, to retail, and food service.

Restaurant owner Jeff Good is offering more flexible hours and has even held a hiring carnival to fill vacancies. He needed to double staff when his new location of Sal and Mookie’s recently opened in The District at Eastover.

“I was out there busing tables and pouring water, so what I did is when I saw a young man or young woman or somebody in their 20′s or even somebody my age, I asked if they wanted to come work with us,” said Good.

The restauranteur is seeing a shortage of skilled workers in the industry, veteran cooks and employees who, during the shutdown, chose to go school or pursue other careers. But he is hopeful that the coming months could bring the return of people to the workforce.

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