‘Nothing seems to work’: Siouxland businesses struggle to find workers

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – At the height of the pandemic, many Siouxland businesses wondered if they’d be able to bounce back from COVID restrictions. Now that some restrictions are being relaxed, many of those same businesses have the same concern, but for a different reason.

There are thousands of people in Siouxland who are out of work, but some Siouxland businesses say they can’t find workers to fill their jobs.

Sam’s Mini Mart is open for business but there’s not enough people to run it.

“We have a shortage of people. The managers, the coworkers, we have to work extra hours. It’s just a strain on all of us right now,” store manager Stevie Ford said.

He said since the pandemic it’s been increasingly difficult to hire people and keep them.

“I’ve had several people come in here and say why work when I don’t have to, when unemployment’s going to pay me “x” amount of money, my stimulus checks coming up,” Ford added.

That’s why Ford said they’ve tried to attract people with higher pay.

“We’ve upped our wages, our starting wages and nothing seems to work,” Ford said.

Sam’s Mini Mart isn’t the only business struggling.

The Iowa Restaurant Association said staffing is down about 20%. The industry itself lost 25,000 jobs in Iowa and some restaurants in Siouxland are feeling the pressure.

“At one point, we were down to two servers. The last couple of months it was me, my assistant manager and two servers that were working every shift,” Jon Sexton, a manager at Rebos said.

He said he’s had to limit seating to not overwhelm staff.

“A lot of it is having the staff to make sure our service is 100% on par. When you have too many customers versus not enough servers that definitely impacts the service that we want to provide for our customers and that’s definitely an impact on business,” Sexton said.

Sexton said a shortage of workers forces him to work in the business instead of on the business.

The manager at Sam’s Mini Mart said they’re still looking for part-time and full-time workers.

At Rebos, they’ve added on new employees in recent weeks but they’re still looking for more hires.

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