NORFOLK, Va. — As restaurants and florists are gearing up for Mother’s Day weekend, so many businesses are still facing staffing shortages.
However, the latest jobs report from the Labor Department shows the U.S. has regained more than 90% of the 22 million jobs lost at the height of the pandemic.
"I’m trying to get staff in the door," said Jonathon Almodovar Friday afternoon. He manages Brick Anchor Brew House in Norfolk.
He said even as we’re entering a post-pandemic phase, staffing is still tough.
It’s a problem so many businesses are still trying to solve. But in the latest job report from the Labor Department, the U.S. added 428,000 jobs in April.
"They came in stronger than what the economists were predicting," said Peter Shaw, a business administration professor at Tidewater Community College.
However, he said it’s not all good news.
"The labor market is still extremely tight," Shaw said.
He said there are still 2.2 million people who were employed before the pandemic that still haven’t come back
"If we have twice as many job openings as we do bodies to fill them and that is going to create some serious serious labor shortages," Shaw said.
As for why people aren’t coming back, economists are still trying to figure out the overarching reason since most unemployment benefits are drying out.
Along with staffing problems, Almodovar said they’re also battling high supply costs.
"We’re doing everything in our power to keep those costs down but unfortunately, we have to work with what we’re given," he said.
Shaw said with inflation, supply chain issues and the war in Ukraine, it’s unlikely anything will change any time soon.
"I don’t see it changing between now and the end of the year," he said.
Shaw said he and other economists believe there is a 50/50 chance the country falls into a recession in 2023.