Americans leaving their jobs en masse, industries grapple with worker shortage


WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Business owners across the country continue to grapple with worker shortages as the nation reemerges after a year of lockdown.

“Pre-COVID we had 13 employees, since then we have two,” said Raymond James, the owner of Fizz Champagne and Bubbles Bar in Sacramento, California.

In New York, getting to work is a concern for some. Subway service has been slowed down due to a lack of staff. So far this month, more than 5,300 trains have been canceled.

In Las Vegas, employers are struggling to fill openings after restaurants were allowed to open at full capacity.  

“It was manageable with 25%, manageable with 50% and then just the succession of going to full open capacity has been harder,” said Courtney Barnett at Lotus of Siam Thai Restaurant.

Some restaurants are upping pay to get waiters and bar staff to return.

Famed Chef Wolfgang Puck says he can’t fill positions that could pay up to $120,000 a year.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of job openings jumped to 9.3 million in April.  

Three years ago, that number was 4 million, which is closer to the average.

Also in April, a record number of people quit their jobs.

It’s being dubbed “The Great Resignation,” with more than half of people wanting to switch careers, not just jobs.

According to Prudential Financial, workers surveyed who want to switch jobs or fields, 50% are looking for higher compensation, 34% want more growth opportunities and 24% are tired of working on the same things.

With staffing shortages continuing through the summer, business owners are preparing for a long road ahead.

“It’s going to take a while to recoup a years’ worth of loses and to get back into the swing and get going,” said Scott Ellis, the executive director at the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association

At least 25 states have decided to end federal unemployment benefits early. The $300 weekly benefits are set to expire in September.

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