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National labor shortage impacting Acadiana businesses seeking employees

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Posted at 4:34 PM, Apr 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-30 18:49:20-04

As COVID restrictions continue to lighten up, more places around Acadiana are hiring. While driving around, 'now hiring' signs can be seen across Lafayette.

According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the unemployment rate for March of this year was 6.6%, a 7% decrease from May of last year. However, that is 1% higher than March of 2020, before the pandemic shut businesses down.
Several employers KATC spoke with say despite those numbers, they are in need of workers.

"McHire.com is the way people get into the system with McDonald's, and it's very easy," Vice President of Marketing Development and Food Safety at McLaff Inc. Troy Romero said.

Romero is one of many who says people aren't wanting to work.

"I think it's a nationwide issue," Romero said.

He and others say there are many factors. Most blame an extension of unemployment benefits.

"People are having more opportunities to stay home due to federal assistance, stimulus money, unemployment benefits," he added. "We still need those people in the restaurant."

Other places like Old Tyme Grocery tell KATC they started giving their employees raises in an effort to keep staff.

"We're still needing people to come in," Romero said.

It's not just a service industry issue. Stuller Inc. is hosting a job fair in May to hire more than 200 people, while Lowe's says it is hiring at least 50,000 people nationwide.

Other business owners believe people may still be scared to work due to COVID. Organizations like the workforce commission have started hosting vaccine drives with job fairs.

Find more information on how businesses are rebounding and hiring amid the pandemic, visit katc.com/rebound. You can also visit our Facebook group 'The Rebound: Acadiana Jobs' to find places hiring in the area.

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