NEWBURGH, Ind. (WEHT) – As many companies and business try to overcome a disrupted supply chain, another challenge is compounding the problem: finding employees. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported more than 11 million job openings in February. So if there are so many options, why are the workers hard to find?

“We’re finding more people are leaving the job market to stay home,” says Katrinka Rynder, business development manager with PeopleLink Staffing Solutions. “They’re finding it can be a one income family versus two income family, those are some of the trends we’re having.”

Another reason why it is so hard to hire workers, according to Rynder, is the demand for higher wages. While larger corporations can offer higher wages and other incentives, small businesses do not often have that luxury. After losing a full-time employee to a job with higher pay and benefits, Gina McCalister, owner of Mulberry Jeans in Newburgh, has faced the difficulty of finding a replacement.

“I couldn’t compete with that. I CAN’T compete with that,” explains McCalister. “So many people don’t realize, you know, they say ‘Oh, $15 an hour’, that really means, you’ve got to add on unemployment, worker’s comp, add all those things on for the employer, so it costs a lot more than $15 per hour to hire somebody.”

McCalister tells us many candidates are expressing demands that are difficult to meet. While still searching for a full-time replacement, McCalister has been forced to hire multiple part-time employees to fill the hours of the full-time role.

For some businesses, the difficulty is not just with the search and hiring process. As Rynder explains, some companies report that a hired employee never showed up to the job at all.

“That’s become one of the major questions we have when we’re interviewing, ‘Why are you looking for work? What’s your motivation to go to work? How do we know that we send you, you’re going to be there?”

Both Rynder and McCalister believe issues with staff shortages will improve, but the process will take time. In the meantime, McCalister encourages patrons to have grace and patience for fellow small businesses who are working through worker shortages and supply chain disruptions.