ISSUE STORY: Jalen Bankston 

The issue that I would like to speak on today is the employment, or lack thereof, in the city of Kent right now. Unemployment is a problem in many more cities than just kent, but today we are going to specifically talk about issues at businesses in the kent and Akron area. 

You don’t have to look around the city long to see that unemployment is a true issue in the area. Everywhere you turn, you see, “now hiring” and “help wanted”, signs plastered on the outside of businesses in dire need of workers. You would think that with the amount of able workers in the area we that could be applying to these jobs, that there would be no issue, but even with the influx of possible employees, people aren’t getting jobs, leaving most businesses short staffed.

 Amanda stringer, a cashier at dollar general, said that her store, along with many other businesses, have had to cut their hours due to the short amount of staff on payroll at her job. She says that they simply just don’t have the manpower to keep the store open at its original time. Amanda also states, “ The Government could help companies by offering incentives for hiring people.” She feels that if companies took more initiative to bring in workers, or give them more incentive to come in and fill out an application, that they would. 

Businesses in the area are being forced to close ealry because they don’t have enough employees to work the original shifts.  Establishments are closing up to 4 hours earlier than regular. The workers that are there are being ran thin, it wouldn’t be right to try to force them to work hours that should be occupied by additional employees. 

Rachel tubs, a student here at kent state, weighed in on the employment problem in the area. Rachel, who has two jobs herself stated that, “people simply just don’t want to work, especially since Covid.” Tubbs says that people are used to being at home now and not leaving there homes. When asked to elaborate she responded by saying, “with the amount of government assistance people have been getting due to the pandemic, many people don’t want jobs, but to just get money from the comforts of their homes.” 

She also states, “Pandemic stimulus and unemployment allowed many people who could work to stay home

So they had good reason to avoid being exposed and some fool advantage of the payouts and stopped working”. 

So what is to be done? How can people want to work again so that businesses can have employees back on the clock? Surely people need money, the economy is getting worse and things are becoming more expensive, and businesses more than need the man power right now, so if it’s so simple then why aren’t people working? 

Why would there be so many opportunities to be employed that people are simply just passing on? I asked Latasha Moore, a business systems analyst for Huntington national bank, what she thought were the steps need to resolve this work issue. She replied, “ Certain jobs need to increase pay. Some people don’t work because they can get government assistance for food and housing and if they work a low paying job they would not get assistance but not make enough to pay rent or buy food.” She also said, “Low paying jobs need to also offer a career path and or offer tuition reimbursement  to help people get a higher education.” 

 If pay was increased, and the government pulled back on its assistance, then people would most likely come back to work. With Covid getting under control, and the world coming back outside, hopefully employees will return to the workforce. Or is this the new norm, will we have to find a new alternative to these lack of workers? Time will tell, because something eventually has to give. This is Jalen Bankston from TV2.

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