As businesses struggle to hire, disagreements over unemployment benefits continue

Published: Jun. 2, 2021 at 5:58 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Businesses that are looking to hire employees right now are struggling to compete with the unemployment benefits.

So as the coronavirus continues to slow its spread and more businesses are opening back up, the problem we’re seeing now is not enough people are wanting to get back to work.

“We’re now post-COVID and we still have the same number of jobs available in the country, but we can’t fill them because we can’t find people to come in and fill all those positions,” said Z. David DeLoach, owner of DeLoach Marine Shipyard.

As the owner of a shipyard, DeLoach has plenty of job positions to be filled starting at $28,000 a year with a lot of room for advancement, where employees could earn up to $150,000 a year. However, he says the amount of money people can make on unemployment is making it hard for him to get people to even apply.

“And our biggest problem is finding entry-level employees. We’ll run an ad on Facebook and get 150 responses and out of the 150 you might get eight that will come in and fill an application and then one of those guys will go to work,” said DeLoach.

Senator Bill Cassidy (R) was at the DeLoach shipyard on Wednesday, June 2 and says we have an economy that’s eager to recover but the policies from the federal government are getting in the way.

“We need to get the federal government out of the way and put people on a ladder to success and not a ladder of setting aside a portion of your life,” said Sen. Cassidy.

As it stands, the extra federal unemployment expires on September 6, 2021, and despite many calls from businesses, Governor John Bel Edwards refuses to do what other states have done and reject the extra money.

“We still have an awful lot of people whose livelihoods depend on the availability of jobs related to tourism. And we know that tourism isn’t back and until tourism is back, their jobs are not gonna be back,” said Governor Edwards.

So as businesses continue to open and hire more people, it’s now up to lawmakers to figure out how to get those empty positions filled in.

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