Business Owners Hoping for More Job Applicants After Federal Unemployment Benefits Expire

Business Owners Hoping for More Job Applicants After Federal Unemployment Benefits Expire
From restaurants to retails, business owners are facing workforce shortages. Many are hoping the end of benefits will have people filling out applications.

Now that federal unemployment benefits have come to an end, some businesses are hoping to see more job applicants. 

The nationwide labor shortage has become a big problem for a lot of businesses.

Phillip Michael Scotti has been in the business for decades, and he’s run Philip Michael Fashion for Men for 15 years.

He said a lack of workers is putting a strain on his business.  

“Never seen anything like this,” Scotti said. “It was always easy to get help in the stores. Always.” 

It’s a job seeker’s market. From restaurants to retail, business owners are now competing to attract employees.

“When I walk the mall and look at the stores, I would say 75% of the stores have ‘Help Wanted’ signs in the mall,” Scotti said. “We used to have 68 employees before the pandemic. We now have 35 employees… And then all our stores, we reduced our hours.” 

But Scotti is optimistic about the future. 

“It’s hard to find help, but I’m thinking that after this week, I think it’d probably be a lot easier to find help,” he said.

COVID-19-related federal unemployment benefits expired this past weekend.  

Many employers are hoping the end of unemployment benefits will mean an increase in job seekers. 

“I expect a big turnaround,” Scotti said. “I think it will take probably through October, though. I don’t think it’s going to be a surge right as it ends.” 

Workers’ advocates have said unemployment assistance doesn’t affect whether people look for jobs. Some economists have said workers simply transitioned to different careers.

Scotti acknowledged people also faced child care issues — but with everything opening back up, he’s hopeful more people will rejoin the labor force.

“Pay is better. The minimum wage has gone up,” he said. “I think people are going to realize, look, there are jobs out there.”