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Coastal businesses opening fewer days a week due to low employment

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 8:43 PM EDT
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MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WITN) -”Now hiring” signs are posted in front of businesses throughout Morehead City.

The amount of signs shows just how desperate employers are to fill positions, a problem extending beyond the Crystal Coast.

Mark Ballog is the owner of Lucky 12 Tavern in Nags Head. He said this year, he’s only received one application.

Ballog explained even with advances made throughout the pandemic, for him, it’s not getting any better. “This year just seems like it’s worse in our area. I mean every business facet down here has help wanted signs,” he said.

While the number of unemployed people remains high, there are jobs to be had. As tourist season draws closer and closer, demand for employees only grows.

WITN asked Carteret County Economic Development Director, Don Kirkman, what it would take to get people applying. He says, “That could be children returning to school, it could be these unemployment benefits ending.”

“People need to go back to work and there are people that would love to have them,” said Ballog.

Kirkman said those people might come with a price. “Employers are unquestionably going to have to start paying more in terms of an hourly wage and or provide additional benefits than what they’re accustomed to doing in the past.”

Kirkman went on to say, customers should be prepared to pay more for services if wages do increase.

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