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Businesses are now struggling to bring back employees

Business owners are finally seeing customers come back, but they don’t have enough employees to serve them.

We’ve heard from multiple businesses, even though Florida’s been fully open during the pandemic, customers haven’t been the problem; it’s been getting and keeping employees.

But CareerSource Southwest Florida thinks that’s going to change now that vaccines are helping everyone get back to life pre-pandemic.

A business we have reported about that says it’s experiencing employee shortages is Waste Pro in Cape Coral. Neighbors have been upset with the service because they say their garbage has not been picked up, some say for weeks on end. The company says a main reason for this is lack of drivers, a problem the company is experiencing across the country.

Bill Jones, Waste Pro division manager, says the pandemic is also playing a role in this nationwide shortage of drivers.

“Those positions have been very difficult to fill in the last three, four months as government assistance programs have ramped up and you’re seeing unemployment, pay go up,” Jones said. “You’re seeing stimulus checks come out more frequently, things of that nature. It’s really hit that market very hard.”

Jim Wall, the communications director for CareerSource SWFL, says they’re seeing some of that in their employment center.

“There are individuals that are making as much or even more through subsidies rather than they could at work, and that is a disincentive right now to go back to work,” Wall said.

Wall says people are also worried about their health as well and aren’t feeling comfortable heading back to work.

“Job seekers are still debating between health issues and financial stability,” Wall said. “Especially in the leisure and hospitality, if you don’t know who is walking in the front door, there was some concerns about their personal health and bringing it back to their families.”

Wall added there is light at the end of the tunnel with more and more people getting vaccinated. More people are also starting to go into CareerSource daily to look for work.

If you are looking for work, CareerSource is holding another virtual career fair April 15.

Reporter:Andryanna Sheppard
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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