Local business increases hiring incentives, hope for applications once federal unemployment benefits end

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)- Drusilla Seafood is increasing cash hiring incentives for bartenders after receiving a smaller number of applicants when the restaurant began offering incentives three months ago.

“We’re offering $100 for wait staff, $50 for bussers and now offering $200 incentives for bartenders,” Brad Zito, the general manager said.

Zito has seen a small success from offering hiring incentives as he faces the national shortage of employees.

A recent report from the White House shows thousands of new jobs are available across the nation. The Secretary for U.S Labor expects more people to return to the workforce as Covid vaccinations increase.

“What we’re trying to do is get people back to work who were laid off. There were 850,000 new jobs added since President Biden has been in office,” Marty Walsh, Secretary of U.S Labor said.

Managers say hiring incentives are working, but not enough people are choosing to return to work.

The Baton Rouge YMCA is also raising pay in hopes of employees returning.

“We have increased our pay for lifeguards, our camp wages are still competitive,” Christian Engle, CEO of Baton Rouge YMCA said.

Both Zito and Engle say business is booming, however, they don’t have enough staff to meet accommodations.

“We’re actually turning families away from summer camp because of short staff,” Engle said.

“We have had some of the busiest months since reopening, my staff is exhausted,” Zito said.

Some businesses are blaming the lack of applicants due to the federal unemployment benefits, but the benefits are set to end on July 31st.

Zito says he is expecting applications to roll in once the benefits end. His hiring incentives will end at the end of July.

“Everybody needs help and if they do come back they will be making money, probably more than sitting at home,” he said.

Information on job opportunities in the Baton Rouge area is available here.

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