Employers are finding it difficult to hire because some are making more on unemployment

Unemployment, created to assist people who are out of work, is now creating a new issue for some small business owners.

News 12 Staff

Apr 16, 2021, 9:55 PM

Updated 1,130 days ago


Unemployment, created to assist people who are out of work, is now creating a new issue for some small business owners.
A New Jersey restaurant owner who called into “Ask Gov. Murphy" on Thursday told Gov. Phil Murphy that he couldn’t get employees to come back because they make more on unemployment than on the job. And he is not alone. Many other small business owners reported similar findings.
Checkers in Jersey City did not have to shut down at all during the pandemic because it is a takeout-only restaurant. In fact, sales are up, according to co-owner Staci Force.
Force’s family owns the Jersey City location and six other Checkers locations across the state. Force, who is married to a News 12 employee, says that while a business boom isn’t a bad problem to have, one problem her family did not expect was not being able to find employees to help cover the demand.
“We need the bodies in order to service the guests for the increased sales and we just cannot seem to hire,” she says. “Very, very difficult.”
The National Federation of Independent Business reports that small businesses are competing with unemployment as benefits continue to be extended.
It's not just the fast-food industry. Landscapers, moving companies and restaurants are all reporting the same issues. Even with incentives like signing bonuses and salaries above minimum wage, many prospective employees would rather stay home.
“I am all for helping those that really need it, but I’m not for people abusing the system and making it more difficult for those who have to go to work and are killing themselves,” says Force.
The governor says that he believes that this issue is only temporary.
“I know so many families with nowhere else to turn. I think the economy picks up steam, those benefits start to trail off, I think there will be an equilibrium in the workforce. Those folks get back to work and they'll be paid what they should be paid,” Murphy said.
Many prospective employers also report that many people are applying but don't show up for interviews. They say that many are using the application to fill an unemployment requirement.

More from News 12