HELP WANTED: East Texas businesses struggling to hire new workers

Local News

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – It seems like everywhere you look there’s a help wanted sign. Local businesses are saying they need as much help as they can get.

Prism Blow Dry Bar is a local salon in Tyler. The owner expanded her business, but needs her staff to expand with it.

“I’m really looking for anybody eager that’s just right out of school and wants to kind of dip their feet in and learn about customer service and creating that rapport with their client behind the chair,” said owner Hayley Cox.

Last year when Gov. Greg Abbott ordered a shutdown due to the pandemic, the Texas unemployment rate surged from 6.9% to 12.9%.

In March, the unemployment rate for Texas was 7.1%. Still higher than pre-pandemic numbers, but a recovery from the height of lockdown.

KETK News spoke with Papacita’s manager Rodney Harris back in April, who said that unemployment benefits are a root cause of the shortage.

“People are hesitant to come back to work because they’re still making good money at home,” Harris said.

Abbott announced in May that he would end federal COVID-19 related unemployment compensation for the state of Texas. Now that those additional benefits have ended, many businesses are still experiencing something of a hiring drought.

“We’re still having that problem and I don’t see that going away anytime soon,” said Villagio Del Vino owner Harley Hooper.

In the meantime, local owners will focus on what they do have: hiring for quality over quantity.

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