Chamber Chit Chat ~
Recently we have been hearing from our local businesses about the difficulties they are facing in terms of employment. Many businesses across Mills County and across the Nation are scheduling interviews only to have no one show up! What’s a business to do when they have been facing what has been the greatest economic hits in our lifetime?
Some people blame the business. They believe that the average person wants to work but can’t afford to because of minimal wages and expensive childcare. But the numbers don’t entirely speak to that. 30% of households are “married without children” in 2020. Single-person households are 23% of the population. So for over half, children aren’t a concern.
If you brush wages aside as the main reason people don’t show up for interviews or first days for that matter, what are you left with?
Working from Home: It’s the elephant in the room. Why would a worker want to work behind a counter when they can sit at home and work (or sit by the pool or in a coffee shop, etc.). An unparalleled number of businesses created work from home scenarios, and many will stick to those protocols long after COVID. Work at home is no longer a perk. It’s an expectation and it’s hard to compete with that. Especially when we know that 90% of the businesses here in Mills County are small businesses that provide services that cannot be done at home.
Ghosting has become the norm in relationships. Don’t want to deal with a difficult situation, ignore it and disappear. We’re starting to see this trickle down into our workforce. It’s acceptable to just not show for an interview, first day, drug screen, etc.
Another thing people may have done is reevaluating things in their lives that just aren’t working. Some people may have decided that life is too short to work at an unfulfilling job. Others may have seen this pandemic as a kick in the pants from the universe to start their own job. Maybe they saw how being a loyal employee can still result in a lay-off or furlough.
With all of these issues that businesses are facing here in Mills County, now more than ever we as a community need support our local small businesses. Check in with them, ask them if they need help, ask them if you can give them a break or support them in a way that is meaningful. Our businesses are what make our communities. They are what helps keep our communities thriving and growing. And to our businesses, you are not alone, we support you and will work beside you to build back.