Frustrated Wyoming Employers Can’t Find Workers
Help wanted signs are going up around Wyoming. But few people are showing up to take those jobs. What's going on?
To be clear, we are talking about lower-level jobs in retail, restaurants, hotels, and other such businesses. I posted a story about this a while back. Apparently, this is still a problem.
The economy has picked up some after the government shut it down for a time. Employers are posting help-wanted signs. This is all good news.
Yet, for a time, I was told by business owners in our state that when they called their old employees and asked them to come back they were told thanks, but no thanks. They were making more money sitting at home doing nothing. This was due to unemployment benefits, welfare, and Covid relief money. One Casper business owner told me, "I just can't pay enough to compete with that."
Governor Mark Gordon announced that Wyoming would be one of those states not taking another round of federal Covid relief money. “Wyoming needs workers, our businesses are raring to go,” Governor Gordon said. “I recognize the challenges facing Wyoming employers, and I believe it’s critical for us to do what we can to encourage more hiring. Federal unemployment programs have provided short-term relief for displaced and vulnerable workers at a tough time, but are now hindering the pace of our recovery. People want to work, and work is available. Incentivizing people not to work is just plain un-American.”
I travel all over the state, and I get a lot of calls from business owners on my radio show. Most of them say they have seen a small uptick in people who are now out of money looking for jobs. But it is a small uptick. I spoke with several business owners yesterday who said they have had help wanted signs up and ads in local media and on social media. Not many people seem to be applying for jobs.
"Are they waiting for the last of their relief money to run out?" one business owner asked.
I'm not sure what the answer to that question is at this point.