GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Service industry business owners having hard time finding job candidates

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) A weaker than expected job report from the federal government last week is no surprise to local service industry business owners. Many trying to ramp back up from the pandemic are having a difficult time hiring workers.

Heading into late spring with summer just ahead, Mike Hastreiter says his business at Kavarna Coffeehouse is ramping up.

“It’s definitely picked up to the point where we would definitely love to have some more staff on there,” said Hastreiter.

Ideally between 19 and 21 people. Right now, there are three and just like many businesses…

“It’s like starting over again,” Hastreiter said.

“It’s been a long time since our previous staff has been here. So understandably, we’re not sure how many of them are still around and are coming back,” said Hastreiter.

As to what’s causing the shortage – there are differing opinions. Perhaps people don’t want to work multiple jobs or are hesitant to come back to the service industry, or perhaps would rather collect unemployment benefits.

“It’s really hard to fault people,” said Tony Wiltgen, co-owner of White Dog Cafe. “What we’ve found is there are not a lot of workers.”

And he suspects a $300 federal weekly supplement to those unemployed comes into play.

“You’re looking at people that decide I can make $500 a week and go work a difficult job or I can stay home and make $600 a week,” Wiltgen said.

An opinion shared by some.

“It absolutely does,” Wiltgen said.

And discounted by others.

“I think if we were to undo that policy it wouldn’t be a home run,” Hastreiter said.

Who are both searching for a workforce to help their businesses bounce back.

Yesterday President Biden said if you’re receiving unemployment and you are offered a good job – you can’t refuse that job and keep receiving unemployment benefits.

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