Unemployment increase, stimulus to blame for job openings

It's lunchtime Thursday afternoon at a local A&W restaurant but there's just one thing missing - employees.

"The problem is we can't get the help that we need to cover the (jobs) we have," said Nancy Streetman, A&W co-owner.

The struggle to find workers is not from a lack of trying, she said.

"We're advertising, we've tried every route that we can (including) word of mouth," Streetman added.

And they're not alone.

"We are in desperate need of summer employees," said Sue Wells, Oakland County Parks.

Hundreds of workers are needed for seasonal jobs in the Oakland County Parks System, in fact, they're needed now more than previous summers.

"During Covid most people go outdoors," Wells said. "Our parks have never been busier, therefore we need more help." 

They're looking for staffing for several positions including cashiers and maintenance workers for golf courses and parks. 

The A&W has been a staple in Berkley and they've never had a shortage of employees. Streetman said they believe this shortage is another fallout of Covid.  

"Covid and stimulus money, where they are getting enough unemployment and they don't want to work," she said.

A&W in Berkley.

A&W in Berkley.

Oakland County Parks believes that's what's driving their lack of applicants also.

But both employers say there is nothing to fear.

"We have all precautions in place at the health department has required us to," Streetman said. "None of our employees have been infected with Covid."

If the parks system can't find sufficient staffing services will be impacted, Wells warns.

"We may not open as many amenities," she said. 

So for now the search for employees continues, as these businesses work to stay afloat.