COMP NEWS – Tennessee unemployment benefits ended in this past July. Some Tennessee employers are finally seeing a rise in their employment rate, while some employers are still struggling to bring on new employees.

A couple of months after those benefits expired some employers, like LabConnect in Johnson City, are filling positions. Chief Operating Officer Barry Simms said while difficult in some ways, his company has hired in-house and home-based workers over the past few months. Simms said he’s especially seen an increase in demand for home-based jobs.

LabConnect stated that they added around 100 new staff this year. Most of the positions filled are home-based jobs. However, many employers in the service industry are still struggling to find new hires.

Meanwhile, in the restaurant industry, Aubrey’s Restaurant managers said that they’re still dealing with a staff shortage. “Still haven’t really seen a big change yet,” District Manager Mickey Korzybski said. “As far as the front-of-house, server-wise, we’re doing really well, the back of the house is where we’re really hurting.” Korzybski said that previously the restaurant dealt with people scheduling interviews and not showing up, but now more people are showing up.

Some employers are stating that covid is not the only reason that there is a labor shortage. Mitch Miller, Northeast Tennessee Economic Regional Partnership CEO, claims that the retirement of baby boomers is also affecting the labor market.

“You got baby boomers that are retiring and phasing out of jobs, fewer people being born,” Miller said. “So, the future workforce you’ve got to shift and change in that and just the change in the way people do business.”

Overall, the labor shortage is still plaguing the workforce. However, with some states’ unemployment benefits ending, we are starting to see a slight change. Although just barely, some companies are beginning to fill their empty staff positions.

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