Businesses struggle to hire amid COVID pandemic

Why businesses are having a hard time hiring right now
Why businesses are having a hard time hiring right now

DETROIT – Businesses across Michigan are struggling to find employees.

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Employers added just 266,000 jobs in April, sharply lower than in March and far fewer than economists had expected.

Gardner-White Furniture is in a great spot after two major competitors went bankrupt -- Loves Furniture and Art Van Furniture -- and as many people have spent the pandemic fixing up and refurnishing homes.

The demand has them talking about adding more stores.

Gardner-White’s Rachel Tronstein said they’re offering new hires big money.

“Right now, we have a $2,000 signing bonus out there for new sales associates that I think we’re really excited about,” Tronstein said. “Hopefully that will make a difference and we’re really looking for people who are looking for a long term career.”

Wallside Windows has dozens of openings with few takers.

“There’s a lot of people out of work due to the pandemic and they not have thought about a career in manufacturing or warehouse work,” said Adam Blanck. “There are a lot of openings right now for those that are interested. We definitely encourage them to check out a career at Wallside Windows.”

Todd’s Services -- a landscaping and outdoor construction company -- is ramping up spring and summer work. There’s more they can do, but they need more help.

“You might have 100 applicants, you call 50. If you set up 50 interviews, maybe 25 show up,” said Doug Murphy. “It’s tough. It’s a tough go for sure.”

The businesses are concerned about what the shortage does for customer service and delays.

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