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Local Worker Shortage

According to the State Director for the National Federation of Independent Business, for the month of May 48% of small businesses across the state had job openings that they cannot fulfill.

This beats April’s record of 44%.

“It’s becoming more prevalent in our small business community to have vacancies within their organization which ultimately leads to them operating at a limited capacity or limited hours,” said Greg Moreland, PA State Director for the NFIB.

For one restaurant in Clearfield County who opened this March, officials said they’re on limited hours even after COVID-19 restriction orders have been lifted.

“When we first opened up we were open Monday-Saturday six days a week we had to shut down about a month and a half on Mondays just because I was just getting worn out from being here 7 days a week and we couldn’t find an extra cook,” said Brian Webb, Owner/Cook of Breaking Bread Homestyle Restaurant in DuBois.

Even on these limited hours, Webb said his business has seen a positive impact since Memorial Day, “There’s been an uptick on people coming in and like I said everyone seems a bit more happier life is starting to return to normal.”

As far as the 48% of small businesses in the state not being able to fulfill job openings, Moreland said the future is still uncertain. “I think we’re kind of waiting to see what that will look like in June and July…I don’t think we really know at this point what that’s going to look like,” he said.

Moreland also said unemployment benefits have played a huge role in these workforce shortages.

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