There were 10.1 million job openings nationwide at the end of June, according to data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. While several industries are feeling the impact of this record shortage, North Texas is not spared.
Victor Garcia is the owner of Sol Dias Ice Cream in Haltom City. As a small business owner, he said he was feeling the pressure of the record labor shortage nationwide. Competition is fierce to recruit employees.
“Since the start of the pandemic, I feel like that’s when things started. And it was difficult, ”Garcia said. “Last week we had five interviews scheduled and three of them called ahead and said, ‘I got a job at McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Taco Cabana. “”
Chris Dharod works with dozens of restaurants across North Texas as president of SSCP Management, Inc. He said employers should prepare for the long term.
“I think we have at least another six tough recruiting months ahead of us, unfortunately, and it could last us another 12-18,” Dharod said.
The problem even affects school systems. Several districts in north Texas have said they have struggled to fill bus driver positions. Plano ISD issued a statement that its transportation department has increased the wages of bus drivers to $ 21 per hour. While they search for qualified drivers, bus routes are combined in an attempt to alleviate the problem.
There are many reasons for the workforce shortage, including the millions of people who have chosen to retire, change careers, or simply quit. Garcia tries to get by and hopes for a turn.
“When you need five or ten people and you only have two or three, how do we make things work? ” he said.
Extended federal unemployment benefits ended last week, so employers suspect there is hope for relief if these people enter the workforce soon. But according to CNBC, more needs to be done to stay competitive in the job market beyond just raising wages.