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Valley-wide business owners struggle to find people to hire

4 months 2 weeks 1 day ago Monday, May 10 2021 May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021 9:24 PM May 10, 2021 in News - Local

New data released from the Federal Jobs Report shows more jobs are available now across the nation than before the coronavirus pandemic, but not enough workers.

Experts say the lack of child care and COVID-19 fears contribute to the decrease in job seekers.

Mike Gonzalez, a spokesperson for Texas Workforce Solutions, said hundreds of jobs are available Valley-wide, but business owners are struggling to find people to hire.

"We're also seeing a similar situation in the foodservice industry and the hospitality industries," Gonzalez said. "We're noticing that a lot of these jobs are going unfilled despite some pay raise increases from employers."

But the question remaining is why?

Economics Professor at South Texas College Dr. Kevin Peek said one reason could be the amount of money some people collect in unemployment benefits, though there's more to the problem than just that.

"A non-economic explanation, people are afraid of COVID-19," Peek said. "A significant portion has not been vaccinated, and others are doubtful of its efficacy. For many potential workers, the risk of returning to work outweighs the benefits."

According to Peek, another contributing factor is the lack of child-care in the region forces some parts who want to work to start home.

Out of 177 businesses surveyed in Texas, 42% of companies with job openings are currently unable to fill them; 48% of owners said they have anywhere from one to five positions open. Until the market normalizes, Peek said employers should widen their recruitment efforts.

If you're looking for a job, Texas Workforce Solutions will host a job fair with the city of Mercedes from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 21 at the Dome Shelter located at 1202 north Vermont Street.

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