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Businesses in Lafayette are still in need of employees

Since the beginning of the pandemic, many employers have struggled to maintain a staff and they say it's because people are still receiving unemployment benefits.

Posted: Jul 20, 2021 8:35 PM
Updated: Jul 21, 2021 12:00 PM

LAFAYETTE, LA (KADN)- Since the beginning of the pandemic, many employers have struggled to maintain a staff. When asked why they say it’s because people are still receiving unemployment benefits.

Ema Haq, the owner of Bailey’s Seafood and Grill, said before the pandemic he maintained a staff of 40. Now, he only has 20 employees.

“They should be working 40 hours now they're working 60-70 hours. They burnt out, you know, everybody needs a break,” Haq said.

Haq has reduced the restaurants days from five days a week to two. He says the lack of employees has taken a toll on his business.

“Sometimes it hurts you know like on a Sunday, Saturday when really we get very busy. You know it's difficult to go and tell your customers to look ‘sorry that service we should be providing is not 100% what I want to do,” he said.

The Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA) believes that once unemployment benefits end at the end of this month, more people will start applying for jobs.

Ryan LaGrange, the workforce development manager at Leda, said that employers should try offering hiring incentives to get more people to apply.

“Offering sign-on bonuses hiring bonuses for some of those entry-level hard to fill, which are currently hard to fill positions, even raising the base pay level to different levels.,” LaGrange said.

According to LEDA, there have been record-breaking taxable sales across Acadiana during the pandemic. Some businesses may have made more if they were fully staffed.

“You know with stimulus payments and folks returning to work. We've seen an uptick in spending and individuals, eating out and such so it can hinder their ability to maximize the amount of revenues they would take in,” he said.

LEDA will be hosting a job fair on August 4th at the Cajundome.

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