JACKSONVILLE, Fla .– The latest unemployment report released Thursday reveals the lowest rate since the start of the pandemic at 364,000 claims. That’s down from 51,000. But the hospitality industry is hiring at an all-time high heading into what is one of the busiest vacations.
Ginger’s Place in Jacksonville Beach has declared July 4 the busiest holiday weekend along with Thanksgiving. Candy Breidert is the owner of the bar and has said she is celebrating the return to normalcy after the pandemic.
Bottlenose also expects a busy weekend at its Southside location and Jacksonville Beach owner’s brewery, Green Room Brewing.
âHopefully it gets pretty busy,â said Kayla Larson, CEO of Bottlenose. But she asks clients to have a little patience as they always work with a small team. âAt the back of the house – in the kitchen and everything – there have certainly been ups and downs. “
The brewery recruits barbacks and kitchen staff. They and several restaurants are struggling to hire
âOur industry uses new tools every day to determine what works best and how to recruit and retain employees,â said Nicole Chapman, regional manager of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.
She added that some in the hospitality industry are adding incentives like same-day pay to pass applications.
Action News Jax Robert Grant asked what was the main concern preventing applicants from applying. âI don’t know the answer to that. I wish we all would, âChapman said. âI think a lot of it is perception. Will [the pandemic] will happen again? Are we going to have to close?
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Florida stopped sending federal unemployment benefits on Sunday, more than two months before it expired. $ 300 was sent to the unemployed through the federal unemployment compensation program.
“Over the next month, we’ll really see: are these employees going back to these traditional jobs or are they looking for something else?”
Breidert said the pandemic offered some the opportunity to find another career outside of the service industry. She said it often comes down to money.
Ginger’s Place kept all of its employees on the payroll even during the shutdown last year. Some restaurants said they couldn’t afford to raise wages without charging more on the menu.
The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association has created a website to display all jobs in the hospitality industry across the state at grandfloridajob.com.
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