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San Diego worker shortages continue as jobless aid expires Labor Day weekend

Posted at 3:35 PM, Sep 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-06 21:49:30-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Local Labor Day celebrations continue despite millions of Americans who are still jobless. Meanwhile, federal pandemic-related unemployment aid officially ends over the holiday weekend.

On Monday, Javier Aguirre with Kearny Mesa's Mikami Bar & Revolving Sushi told ABC 10News, "We have half the amount of people that we need."

He said that they're operating at 30% capacity because they don't have enough staff to tend to the customers.

"It's still a challenge even though we're offering above minimum wage," he added.

Peter Callstrom with San Diego Workforce Partnership said Monday, "Employers have raised wages. They have really done a lot in order to attract workers to come back."

Callstrom said that he believes there will be a resurgence of employees now that benefits are being cut.

"We do expect to see that. How much remains to be seen but people need their income, and we have to be very empathetic with where they are," Callstrom added.

More than 7-million people nationwide are expected to lose aid that was launched during the pandemic and millions more will have checks reduced by $300 a week. It comes during the latest wave of spiking COVID-19 cases as the delta variant continues to spread.

"We know people who want to go back to work. We've not run into people who don't want to go back to work. It's a safety issue. It's a home care [and] childcare issue. There's a lot of other contributing factors as to why people have not reentered the workforce," added Callstrom.

He said that his team is helping employers with targeted recruitment efforts and helping job seekers upskill or reskill to enter the labor market.