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Local businesses struggle to hire new employees

JACKSON, TN (WNBJ) - Lots of businesses in Jackson and the surrounding areas are hiring, but not receiving as many applicants as usual.

Many local businesses like restaurants are having a difficult time hiring new employees, which is putting an extra strain on current employees and management.

According to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the unemployment rates statewide dropped 4.9 percent in February. That is down 0.2 of a percentage point from the previous month.

The entire country now seeing an upward turn when it comes to employment, but some small businesses in town are still having a hard time hiring new employees.

“First of all, I have been doing this for 40 years and never in history, in 40 years, have we had a problem hiring people like right now. The pandemic, yes, has caused a lot of problems. So you know the factories, we’re in completion with the factories. Some are starting $17, $18, and $20 dollars an hour and sign-up bonuses. Restaurants can’t do that,” said Bob Bauto, the owner of the Old Town Spaghetti Store.

The Humboldt Chamber of Commerce attributing the lack of people applying and ultimately getting new jobs to another reason.

“There are a couple of reasons, as they have had for years sometimes you struggle to find people who can pass a drug test. A lot of these employees you find don’t want to come back if it’s an industrial job. They just find that the job is hard, it’s hot or it’s cold or whatever. They just don’t want that job, so they don’t come back,” said Amanda Love, the Executive Director at the Humboldt Chamber of Commerce.

Love also says a contributing factor leading to fewer applicants could be the extension of unemployment benefits.

For anyone who is looking for employment, the management team at the Old Town Spaghetti Store is hiring for various positions.

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