Local businesses may see effects of extra unemployment benefits ending soon

Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 10:56 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - If you receive benefits from any of the federally funded pandemic unemployment compensation programs, those benefits are soon coming to an end. The last day to receive that money will be June 19th, 2021.

Local businesses say they truly believe the extra $300, on top of regular unemployment, is keeping workers off the job. The helped wanted signs are still out there, but business owners say they hope to start taking those signs down.

With those benefits set to expire, the Manager at Lee’s Car Wash, Samantha Baker, believes that’s why they are already getting more calls from people looking for a job.

“Today, as I said, I have gotten three or four phone calls saying, ‘hey are you guys hiring?” said Baker.

She says, like many other businesses they have been struggling to get workers for over a year.

“To run this operation smoothly we probably need about 50 people and today we probably had like 25,” said Baker.

Tara Hutchison, Communications Director for the Alabama Department of Labor, says despite the workforce crisis, the job market looks better than ever before.

“Alabama currently has its highest average hourly wage in history. The leisure and hospitality industry, which has been the focus of a lot of these discussions, has seen its hourly rate increase by almost a dollar over the year,” said Hutchison.

If you are looking for a job there are several resources available for free on ADOL’s website.

“We can help you search for the available jobs. We can help you build your resume. We can train you in interview skills. We can help you apply for those jobs.”

If you are a business struggling to find employees to come work, ADOL can also help.

“We can pre-screen the employees. We can provide interview space. We even have programs where we can pay up to 75 percent of an employee’s salary. So there is a great financial incentive,” explained Hutchison.

Hutchison says there are enough jobs, plus more, to hire every single person on unemployment right now.

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