Businesses across South Florida are asking: “where are the workers?” as they bounce back from the pandemic and resume operations. But starting June 1st, that may change as the the state’s job search waiver is set to end.
OneBlood is looking to hire for over a hundred workers but the problem is, they can’t find any.
“We’re seeing that job roles and people applying is starting to tighten up,” said Susan Forbes, VP of Corporate Communications at OneBlood.
It’s gotten to the point where they’re turning to resource centers for help.
“We have lobotomists, medical technologists, nurses, physicians, people who are couriers, a wide array of people working who work for us in different types of job roles,” said Forbes.
Javon Lloyd with CareerSource Broward, said Forbes is not alone in struggling to find workers, especially in the hospitality industry.
“There are still people out there who are still hesitant in joining the workforce because they have legitimate health concerns, said Lloyd.
Lloyd said the unemployed who want to continue receiving benefits after this month will have to start showing proof they’re trying to get back into the workforce.
“The work search requirement waiver is going to be extended until June 1st. So after that in order to qualify for your unemployment assistance, you’re going to have to prove that you’ve been searching for work,” said Lloyd.
“Just like small businesses in particular got hit hard during the pandemic when they were shut down, they’re now being hit hard by a labor crisis,” said Marco Rubio.
The labor crisis caught the attention of senator Marco Rubio.
“We have 50 job openings, we can only get five people to even respond, only one will come in for an interview and then they didn’t take the job when I offered it. Over and over again hearing that from small businesses in various sectors,” said Rubio.
Businesses and restaurants have had to come up with incentives. CH’I, a new restaurant in Brickell, is one one of them, offering a $1,000 signing bonus for new hires.
“When I asked why is it, why are people telling you they’re not going to do it. The answer people gave them was, I’m receiving unemployment benefits [and] it pays maybe not as much as I was making working but pretty close. When those run out, I’m going to go back to work. That’s what we’re being told by small businesses,” said Rubio.
As of March, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity reports the unemployment rate in Broward County was 5.3%. In Miami-Dade County, 8.2%.
“Businesses are hiring [and] companies are looking to fill those positions. Once those work waivers end and more people start to return back into the workforce, it’s going to be harder and harder for you to find a job once those positions start to get filled,” said Lloyd.
“We would encourage people that if you’re looking for a position to please consider Onelood. We provide the training, the opportunities, [and] we have great career growth opportunities for people,” said Forbes.
Several states are taking actions on this issue. Montana was the first state to announce it was ending federally subsidized $300 a week expanded unemployment benefits, it will instead offer a one-time $1,200 bonus for those who re-enter the workforce.