Companies struggling with labor shortage, Houstonians struggle to find work

HOUSTON – Federal unemployment benefits, for people in financial difficulty during the pandemic, ended Labor Day weekend.

A Houston restaurant owner hopes the end of employment benefits will help the local economy rebound.

When Irma Galvan spoke to KPRC 2 about five months ago, her 30-plus-year-old namesake restaurant was experiencing a labor shortage. Galvan said business was slow and 13 of its 17 employees had left its downtown Houston restaurant.

“It was really bad and I was feeling very depressed, but we started getting more business, people started coming in and we started hiring more people,” she said.

Galvan said the Delta variant is now eating into business. Still, Galvan said she was able to employ 10 new workers with an added incentive.

“We pay our people more,” said Galvan. “We had to do this to keep our employees and to have more employees, we had to increase the prices of their wages. “

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The Houston restaurateur is hoping the restaurant industry will see an increase in the number of job seekers since federal unemployment benefits ended on Labor Day weekend. Texas was among several states that withdrew from federal programs in June. The Texas Work Commission had provided additional weeks of financial aid, which is also coming to an end.

Steven Craig, professor of economics at the University of Houston, said the economy might not rebound as quickly.

“I guess I’ll expect a labor supply response, okay I think there will be more workers, but I don’t think there will be a labor supply at all. big increase, ”Craig said.

The state’s current unemployment rate is 6.2%, down from 6.9% in February and March, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Bevin Covington, a recent Cypress-Creek high school graduate, said finding a job had not been easy, although many industries said they were in desperate need of workers. The 19-year-old said he had distributed dozens of resumes and completed more than 100 job applications since May.

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“It certainly doesn’t sound like a shortage,” Covington said. “They keep saying they need help. I am ready to help but get no response.

Covington’s dream job is to work in the mortgage or securities industry. On Tuesday, he shopped for his resume in the Willowbrook Mall. He said he plans to delay college for now, but the job market is daunting.

Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.

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