TOPEKA (KSNT) – Millions of people are losing unemployment benefits as extra federal money from coronavirus relief bills stopped this week. Local businesses are expecting more a bigger pool of possible workers because of it.
The Burger Stand in Topeka is having a hard time keeping a full staff. Not enough people are filling out applications, and when they do many don’t show up for an interview.
“Right now it’s really the veterans holding it down, we have a couple of really good new people that have just come on, but it’s just getting the new people to stay and actually just trying to get them in the door,” said Joanna Becker, general manager at the Burger Stand.
The restaurant starts out at $15 an hour. Becker said she can’t pinpoint what’s the main reason people aren’t choosing to work there.
The lack of new hires is having ripple effects on current employees.
“Shifts are more stressful because we aren’t working with as many people as we would like, and people just get really tired, the restaurant business is hard,” Becker said.
It’s estimated more than 8 million people in the U.S. will lose the $300 a week in extra unemployment benefits.
Kwik Staff in Topeka helps businesses fill their openings. As of late, they’ve seen a greater number of jobs than applications coming in.
“Unfortunately with the amount of people not looking for work currently, it’s been tough to fill the positions we currently have,” Justin Wall, Kwik Staff sales manager said.
But that could change soon. Many companies, including some that have never reached out to the staffing agency before, would see results.
“Almost every business I talk to have positions they’re looking to fill, so I think the unemployment ending is going to be a benefit to employers out there to get the employees in to apply,” Wall said.
People have one month to file a claim for the last week of federal unemployment help ending the week of September 4th before it’s gone for good.