Why is Every Business Understaffed?

Why is Every Business Understaffed?

Brady Longwell, Article Expert

For most students, High School is the time where they first consider getting a part-time job outside of school and entering the workforce. For these students, they have a lot to consider as they look for what their first job will be, and who among those hiring they want to work for. However, it seems like any High Schoolers looking for their first job won’t have to look hard, after all it seems like you can’t go anywhere without seeing For Hire signs in every store front. 


I’m sure many people reading this article right now have already noticed this fact by now. After all, it seems that whatever store or business you go to now you can find a “Help Wanted” or “For Hire” sign outside their doors. So many businesses are looking for new employees, not only here in Hampton, but all across the country.


Staffing issues seem to have become a common problem with many businesses because of this. Businesses have had to change their hours because they don’t have enough employees to cover those shifts, and some places have even had to close due to a lack of staff. Many businesses have gotten so desperate for new employees that they are offering very generous sign-on bonuses for those who apply. 


Of course, all of this begs the question as to why this is happening. Research is starting to show that job openings all around the country are at a record high, and yet many are still having problems finding new employees. There are a few explanations for the events happening right now, one being that the number of new job openings have exceeded the number of people working for work. This might have some merit, as the number of people unemployed in the United States as of July 2021 was 8.7 million, while the number of job openings now exceeds 9 million.


Although, I don’t believe that is the only reason. The job market has actually changed considerably since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the US. Many businesses that have had to close down during the quarantine are now opening back up again. This is leading to a massive increase in job openings as people need to staff their businesses again. However, instead of there being competition for employment like during the quarantine, there’s a competition for employees. 


What all these new job openings have led to are businesses increasing their wages and benefits in order to attract more employees. This, in turn, has caused other businesses to do the same to keep up with the competition. Right now, anyone working a minimum wage job could find a new job that would pay them far better wages easily. And that’s the problem. It may not just be a shortage of people looking for jobs, it may just be that people are gravitating towards the jobs that are desperately increasing wages to attract new employees, and leaving every other business short staffed. The whole situation may not be a labor shortage, but a lack of people willing to take these jobs for what they’re offering now that other businesses are starting to offer far more.


To summarize, the recent staffing issues and excess of job openings are not only happening here in Hampton, but all around the country. These problems are a result of businesses reopening and being desperate to hire new employees, and that has caused the number of new job openings to exceed the number of people looking for work. Not only this, but those who are looking for work and gravitating towards the openings that are starting to offer a lot more, and leaving other, potentially smaller businesses, understaffed. 


However, according to different reports, this problem may be settling down and things may be starting to go back to normal. But until everything fully settles, understaffed businesses may become the norm for a while. So on behalf of these businesses I ask everyone to show a bit of understanding and be patient with these businesses until they are able to get back to being fully staffed.