(WFXR) — It seems like the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few in the job market. There have been a record number of job openings, with employers adding an average of more than half a million jobs a month for the past year, but people are not stepping up to work those jobs.
Bob Mick, the owner of Dairy Queen on Brandon Avenue in Roanoke, doesn’t understand why it’s so hard to hire people right now.
“It’s not rocket science,” said Mick.
Over the last few weeks, Mick tells WFXR News he’s had 27 interviews scheduled, but only four people showed up. Most applicants tell him the work is too hard or they don’t want to work weekends.
“It can be challenging because of the volume that we do. You have a lot of people, and we’re called typically fast food restaurants. There’s a reason for that — because everybody’s in a hurry,” said Mick.
Employment officials with Virginia Career Works say staffing issues are a common problem.
“They are facing competition from employers that they normally don’t have to compete with,” said Tim Saunders from Virginia Career Works Central Region.
According to Saunders, before the pandemic, experience was typically required for applicants to get a job, but expectations are lower now. As a result, job seekers can look for those high-paying positions because the need for workers is at an all-time high.
“The job seeker is in the driver’s seat,” Saunders said. “They are the ones with all the control right now.”
Saunders says manufacturing jobs and healthcare jobs are pulling people away from the hospitality industry.
He also says you shouldn’t just assume people don’t want to work. Things are hard for them, as well.