Employers report uptick in job applicants

Posted at 3:54 PM, Sep 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-08 20:23:16-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- San Diego employers are reporting an uptick in the number of job applicants now that extended unemployment benefits have expired, but it is nowhere the rush some expected.

On Saturday, roughly 7.5 million workers lost their extended unemployment benefits, which boosted weekly payments by $300. In California, the only ones left getting jobless benefits are those on the state standard 26 weeks, which maxes out at $450 per week.

Meanwhile, San Diego hotels and restaurants have struggled to hire, and some owners believe the extended benefits were keeping workers away. After all, a number of workers were earning more on unemployment than they did by working.

But since the expiration, some employers have reported an uptick in applicants, not only in amount but in motivation.

"Now they're calling me," said Steven Vill, V.P. at Mountain West Real Estate, which owns Chula Vista's Shake & Muddle restaurant. Hill said previously applicants would accept jobs but not show up for their first day. Now, he's confident he'll quickly fill four openings.

"Leverage is a great thing. And it really has tilted the scale back to our side," he said.

At Puesto, managing partner Eric Adler said the company now has 40 openings, down from 100 about two months ago.

The San Diego Workforce Partnership says its career centers have seen a continual increase in demand over the past few weeks, but it is still less than pre-pandemic levels.

And at staffing agency Manpower, CEO Phil Blair said there was an increase in applications, but it remains an employees' market.

"This is the sort of the golden week, because if you go back this week or call your boss this week, you're still in the good guys. You came back early," he said.

Blair said as more people return to work, he expects signing bonuses and any increases in hourly rates to disappear. He cautioned, however, that he expects more employers to require full vaccination as a work requirement, which takes getting vaccinated plus two weeks for immunity to build.