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Hiring at Virginia Beach Oceanfront turning a corner as summer comes to a close

After years of struggling to hire employees, some businesses at the Oceanfront say they are finally turning a corner, even as students head back to class.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Big crowds lined the Virginia Beach Oceanfront for the Labor Day holiday, which means lots of customers for local businesses.

After three years of struggling to hire employees, some business owners and managers at the Oceanfront say they are finally turning a corner.

"Especially through COVID, hiring was almost non-existent, really slow. But, I would say it’s definitely in recovery. It’s getting a lot better," said Corbin Tabor with Ocean Eddie's.

Around this time two years ago, hiring signs filled storefront windows, as thousands of positions remained open. City leaders offered $1,000 as an incentive for people to fill some of those open positions.

RELATED: $1,000 bonus offered for people to get back to work in Virginia Beach

"We do a little bit of hiring to make up for the people that have left for the summer, but we’re good. We’re good now," Tabor said.

Though, he said during the busy summer months, they do lean on the students who come to work seasonally.

"We’ve had our summer people come in. They’ve came and went. That season is coming to an end," he said. "It plays a big part in just getting our building staffed and having everything run smoothly."

D. Nachnani, owner of Coastal Edge, said they’re seeing the same trend in terms of a recovering job market locally.

"It's getting better and better," he said. "As each month goes by, we’re finding that certain amount of normalcy, so the work shortage of the past is slowly becoming a thing of the past."

He said it helps that they’re able to keep most of their staff working throughout the year by placing some of them in one of their four Halloween stores, Harygul's, and relying less on seasonal help.

"We are able to give employment to year round associates so there’s not that turbulence of the past."

This past Thursday, the Labor Department reported that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell for a third straight week.

Looking at the nation as a whole, the latest report from the Labor Department showed the unemployment rate rose from 3.5 percent to 3.8 percent, the highest level since February 2022. However, experts say it rose because about 700,000 people began looking for work last month—the most since January.

Nanchnani said he’s confident with all the growth happening in Virginia Beach, this positive trend will continue.

"I hope to see growth. There are so many things that our city of Virginia Beach, so many attractions, so many festivals, so many companies of global reach that are moving to Virginia Beach. We’re very excited about the opportunities that all of those companies including ourselves have for future employees that come to work with us," he said. "It’s creating slowly, bit by bit, a year round economy that we’re all benefitting as businesses from and it’s creating a more stable employment opportunity."

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