Labor shortage impacts Siouxland businesses

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — National unemployment claims dropped to a new pandemic-low last week, and the rates in Siouxland are even lower.

Economists and labor experts alike are calling it “the great resignation.” The period where companies loosen COVID-19 restrictions and expect employees to return to the office only to see them quit and find other work.

According to the U.S. Labor department, 4 million people quit their jobs in April and more may be on the way, as a recent survey of employees says that 95 percent are considering changing jobs.

However, the unemployment rates in Iowa are 20 percent lower than before the pandemic. Nebraska and South Dakota have some of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

Jon Murad is the marketing specialist for Iowa works, he said there’s not enough people looking for jobs right now.

“Well, it seems like our employment climate is back to full speed, we’ve got more businesses looking for people than people available for work,” Murad said.

It’s caused a headache for recruiters like Alex Heiderscheit of Seaboard Triumph Foods.

“A lot of people are also working from home, and they’ve been getting used to working from home during COVID, so now that some employers don’t offer that, it’s like a little bit more difficult to get people to come work for essential businesses like STF,” said Heiderscheit.

It’s why events like today’s career fair hosted by Iowa works are so vital to local businesses.

“We have opportunities across the board open, it’s not just one industry that there’s a need. I talked to businesses across the spectrum that are having trouble recruiting right now,” said Murad.

Heiderscheit said that is looking to fill two to three hundred positions to add to their workforce of about 2,400.

And with the competition in finding workers, her team has had to get creative with how to bring people in.

“We’ve been doing a really great job at changing, changing the way that we work, changing the way that we hire people, in a really positive way, because it’s more competitive than ever,” Heiderscheit said.

Iowa works told us that they plan on having a career fair like today’s on a monthly basis and invites anyone who’s looking for a career to stop by their office.

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