NWA employers struggle to find workers

KNWA

"How do we open the door for folks to get jobs and how do we help our industry find the folks they need?"

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Our economy is struggling to add jobs lately which is leaving employers in the area struggling to find workers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. employers hired fewer workers than expected in the month of April.

I think you’re seeing somewhat of competitive pressure there, in terms of hiring back workers to work those jobs.

MERVIN JEBARAJ, LOCAL ECONOMIST

Which could be a sign — some businesses are scrambling to find workers are the economy reopens.

It’s an issue happening in Northwest Arkansas.

I do think it’s competitive, I think everyone is in need of staff.

KALENE GRIFFITH. PRESIDENT/CEO, VISIT BENTONVILLE

Visit Bentonville CEO Kalene Griffith said the tourism hub has seen firsthand the hospitality industry struggle trying to rebuild themselves to where they were pre-pandemic.

“We have challenges on a regular basis with the restaurants and the hotels looking for staff,” she said.

Griffith thinks there are a lot of different reasons why this may be happening, but local economist Mervin Jebaraj thinks a big one could be a change of careers.

“Their employees have gone on to do other things so people that typically worked in the leisure and hospitality industry… before the shutdowns, have gone on to other careers and have moved on to other things at this point,” he said.

Griffith said Visit Bentonville is hosting a job fair in June in hopes of some positive results for the city’s hospitality industry.

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