Millions of jobs are left vacant across the United States and there seems to be help wanted signs everywhere you look.
But as pandemic unemployment benefits expire this week the question some are asking is, will people start flowing back into these job openings?
Driving down the street in Johnstown we saw dozens of Help Wanted signs posted outside of businesses desperate to find workers.
“We’re only working with five to six people, and half of the time at night we have no staff. So, we’re having to close early and open late.”
This week over a half million Pennsylvanians will see their pandemic unemployment benefits end.
So many business owners hope maybe that will help fill their vacant positions.
“What we’re hoping is it’ll draw in more qualified candidates. Hopefully, we can hire at least 15 to 20 people within the next week or two.”
Programs including PUA, FPUC, PEUC and that extra 300 dollars per week will expire Saturday affecting 558,000 Pennsylvanians.
But Pa Department Of Labor Industry officials say ending these benefits still won’t remove all those help wanted signs in the windows.
“I think we’ve all seen the help wanted advertisements that seem to be everywhere. Now I want to be clear, that when these unemployment benefits end this Saturday, we won’t suddenly see that every business is fully staffed.”
Barrier says that’s because many people are unemployed for hurdles like lack of child care a need for training or health concerns.
So people relying on these benefits will now have other options without using unemployment dollars.
“That means instead of using unemployment benefits to resolve childcare issues, training needs, and health concerns, we’re connecting individuals to specific programs like Child Care works,
PA career links, and disability benefits.
The Department Of Human Services is building a library of resource. That include food, housing, and utility support.
But desperate business owners and managers are still hoping that these benefits ending will spark a change.
“So, we’re just hoping with the assistance going away, that it will make people want to work.”