ArkLaTex hoping to fill increased job openings

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 7:23 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Lawmakers across the ArkLaTex are trying to get people back to work. However, with the current federal unemployment benefits offering an additional $300 a week on top of the state checks, many people are not eager to find a job.

Goodwill Open Placement Manager Darlene Robinson explains why.

“Some of the jobs that are available, the pay is not as much as they are making when getting the unemployment and the stimulus so they are opting to stay at home,” she said.

Back in March, the Department of Labor said the labor demand jumped to 8.1 million and layoffs took a big dip. Now at least five states, including Arkansas, have opted to stop the federal unemployment benefits by June in efforts to help the market.

“Businesses are hurting. Some business want to be open five days a week or seven days a week but they can’t,” said Robinson.

In Louisiana, Senator Bill Cassidy said people are making rational decisions based on the situation at hand. Over at the White House, leaders says it’s up to the state to decide whether they want to end the benefits.

McDonalds Chief Operating Officer Denson Bates said it is putting a strain on workers.

“It’s a problem across the board,” he said.

He says they are doing what they can get people to join the team.

“We are actually giving bonuses to employees for bringing friends, bring family members and promoting our business,” Bates said.

Robinson says she is remaining optimistic.

“When it ends I think people will be ready to go back to work because they have to be able to take care of their families. I think they will get out there and start looking,” she said.

Click here to find out about job fairs in your area.

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