The U.S. saw some good news on the Economy front last month. More than 550,000 new jobs were added in May. The Unemployment rate has again fallen below 6% for the first time since last March, but many Employers say they’re still having a hard time finding enough Workers to fill jobs.
In 75 years of business – Vic’s Italian Restaurant says it’s never had this – a Help Wanted sign. As the Season heats up in Bradley Beach New Jersey, the Restaurant is desperate for Workers to meet Summer crowds.
When asked how important this Summer is for business, General Manager Travis Semblewski said: “It’s very important. We can’t do the customer service the way we used to. So we need more people. And I’m just fearful to some degree that if we don’t have that, not every customer will understand.”
77% of Americans plan to travel this Summer – compared to 29% last year. A welcome sign for Restaurants in Summer hot spots like the Jersey Shore – closed for much of last year. This small Beachside Town balloons from population 4000 to 25000 in the Summer.
Vic’s is the biggest Employer in town – with 100 Employees during peak Season. But right now, the Restaurant can’t cover 20% of its shifts – even raising hourly wages by $2 for new Employees. Semblewski adding: “I just can’t get people to come in and to start a new job.”
At Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park – Owner Marilyn Schlossbach is offering bonuses to current and new Employees. Schlossbach owns seven Restaurants along the Jersey Shore and usually employs 250 people. She’s operating with just 75. Schlossbach adding: “I’m honest and telling them I’m pushing them, but still I’m pushing them. And I don’t think that’s a healthy way to live your life.”
That means longer hours for Servers like Kathleen Thompson. Despite being furloughed and making just as much on Unemployment – she wanted to come back to work. Thompson, a Server for 22 years adding: “They’ve been good to me for 20 years. I can’t say no, I’m not coming back because I’m collecting this money. No, that’s not fair to them. They need their employees to get their business up and running, and I was willing to come right back.”