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Jobseekers have the leverage, but days are numbered

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Posted at 4:30 PM, Jul 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-26 20:38:13-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- San Diego jobseekers are going into interviews with perhaps more leverage than they've ever had before, but their days with the upper hand are increasingly numbered.

"This is an employee's job market," said Phil Blair, CEO of Manpower Staffing. "That has not happened in a long time."

Blair said employees have leverage when it comes to negotiating hours, pay, benefits and a hybrid work model. That's the reality in a time that Covid and childcare concerns are keeping some workers on the sidelines, while the federal government is boosting weekly unemployment checks by $300. Some workers are now earning more staying home than they did when they were on the job,.

But Blair cautioned the leverage is waning, because the stimulus boost to jobless benefits ends Sept. 4. He said that will lead to an oversupply of job applicants.

"This is the time to go back to work," Blair said Monday. "Don't wait until everybody else does because you're not going to be the golden child any longer."

At the Ocean Park Inn in Pacific Beach, hotel president Elvin Lai is leaving rooms empty because he can't find the staff to serve the guests. That's with a $2 boost to hourly rates and a hiring bonus after 30 days.

"If someone were to walk up to the front desk and say I need a job, we'd probably hire them on the spot," said Lai.

Lai noted that there are three weeks left in the peak tourist season, so the need is especially high. After that, he said he would maintain his current staffing level through the slower months.