Local Businesses Continue to Struggle to Hire Despite Lowering Unemployment Numbers

The United States added 266,000 jobs last month, and the national unemployment rate has fallen to 6.1%, but despite those encouraging economic numbers, local businesses in our tri-state still report struggling to hire.

Posted: May 27, 2021 5:00 PM
Updated: May 27, 2021 10:07 PM

The United States added 266,000 jobs last month, and the national unemployment rate has fallen to 6.1%, and we’re seeing similar trends here in our tri-state.

“Actually it’s gotten lower," said Greg Wathen, Co-CEO of the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership. "We’re about 4.5 percent overall region, but you see places such as Gibson county where they’re about 3.6% unemployment. We have a little more than 13,000 job postings in our market.”

But even though we’re seeing lowering unemployment numbers in and around the River City, many local businesses say they’re still struggling to hire.

“We’ve had to cut hours back," said David Siewart, owner of Major Munch. "Sometimes we have to close early. We’ve had a day where we had to shut down, because we couldn’t get a hold of stuff. We’ve even had some of our patrons offer to come in and help out and do extra things.”

Now hiring signs seen everywhere across our tri-state, particularly at local businesses, despite a lowering unemployment rate across the board.

“We’re find ourselves in very unusual territory that we’ve not seen in probably the last several decades," said Wathen.

Numerous businesses in Owensboro, Henderson, and Evansville have all spoken to 44News and say they’re finding it almost impossible to hire right now, and local business owners hope to find a resolution soon.

“There has to be a balance with incentives," said Siewart. "People need help, but people also need to get back to work. We need to get on the other side of this and open up our economy.”

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Our Tuesday was nothing short of chilly, gloomy, gray and wintry throughout the Tri-State; afternoon high temperatures only reached as high as the middle to low 30s throughout the region. Our peak temperature of 32° in Evansville was 16° below the norm for this time of the year. As for the evening ahead, cloud cover and cool air will linger - additionally, there have been reports of sporadic flurries on and off throughout the day and some portions in the Lower Ohio Valley may continue to see brief snow showers through 10 o’clock this evening. Our winds will shift southward overnight tonight into early Wednesday morning and while it won’t necessarily drive temperatures higher for the predawn hours, It will help keep temperatures from falling much further than where they currently stand. Extract the morning low temperature near 29° in Evansville as we kick off our midweek.
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