(FT) US employers struggle to find willing workers after pandemic year

Franchise owners of the convenience store chain 7-Eleven begged the company not to force them to return to round-the-clock operations because they could not find anyone to work night shifts. Managers at a short-staffed McDonald’s in Texas placed a sign on its drive-through menu asking for patience because “nobody wants to work any more”, making the restaurant famous on TikTok.

Breakfast cereal maker Post Holdings said a shortage of workers has caused severe production delays. On Monday, Donnie King, chief operating officer at Tyson Foods, the largest US meat processor, said “it’s been taking us about six days to do five days’ worth of work because of turnover and absenteeism” at its pork plants, which were among the worst-hit in the initial months of the pandemic.

The National Federation of Independent Business, a small business group, said that 42 per cent of small business owners say they cannot fill roles. Among them is Matt Glassman, who owns the Greyhound Bar & Grill in Los Angeles.

Two weeks before reopening, Glassman scheduled 15 interviews to hire kitchen staff. But a dozen candidates did not show up, he said. Of the three who did, one was “completely wrong for the job” and another quit on the first day, leaving him with only one hire.

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Posted in Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market