LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — If you’re searching for a job, right now is a great time to find one. Many businesses in central Virginia and across the country are struggling to find employees, and when there aren’t enough workers, service can slow down.
A local recruiter says this has been hitting Lynchburg pretty hard within the last few weeks.
“I’ve talked to businesses ranging from restaurants to retail to manufacturing over the last month and everyone is telling me the same thing,” said Tim Saunders, the business and outreach coordinator for Lynchburg Career Works. “They cannot get applicants for jobs that would normally have a lot of applicants.”
One of those businesses is East Coast Wings and Grill in Lynchburg.
According to General Manager, Darrell Bryant, “We’re just hiring in the back of the house whatever we can get.”
Bryant tells WFXR News that for the past three months, the restaurant/bar has been looking to fill the same seven or eight positions.
“The people that we do have are working a lot more and it’s pushing them to a limit… Working six days a week, 40 plus hours,” said Bryant.
They’ve now more than doubled the hourly pay for servers and increased hourly wages for back-of-the-house workers by at least a dollar.
“If you’re looking for a job right now, you’re in the driver’s seat because you have a lot of options that might not normally be available to you,” Saunders said.
According to Saunders, there are even places in Lynchburg looking to hire more than 20 employees.
“I think it’s because people are starting to get out more, people are starting to get vaccinated so they feel safe now to go into businesses again, eat in restaurants again. For that reason, employers are needing workers.”
Saunders says he’s expecting the number of applicants to increase in June when Virginians on unemployment will be required to start looking for work.