Businesses struggling to find workers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- New Mexico businesses are having trouble finding staff to hire.

"We’re running shorthand at every location," said Wayne Moore, director of bistro operations at Lescombes. "The employees we do have are working very hard to just keep the businesses open right now".

Carol Wight, CEO of the New Mexico Restaurant Association, believes many people are deciding to stay on unemployment, rather than work.

"I was talking to one of my members yesterday, and they said, "Carol I put a call out for people and I had 26 job interviews scheduled, 26 job interviews scheduled, of those, three people showed up and one of those said he wasn’t available until September,’" Wight said.

The federal unemployment supplement is scheduled to run out in September.

In an attempt to recruit workers, Lescombes is offering incentives.

“We’re offering sign-on bonuses in a restaurant which is something I’ve never done. In Alamogordo, we’re offering $750 for a sign on bonus to join our culinary team,” said Moore.

Wight says some other restaurants are paying higher hourly wages to attract employees and the association is looking at holding a job fair soon.

She also says help is out there for business owners.

“There’s an employee retention tax credit that is fairly complicated and most restaurants have not gone out and gotten that tax credit and I’m really trying to encourage them to do that because it can mean a lot of money,” she said. “So I’ve been trying to tell them get out there get this money and use it for bonusing people ”

Meanwhile, Wight asks us all to please be patient next time we go out to eat, knowing the staffing shortage can sometimes mean slower service.

“If you enjoy working around great people and you’re tired of sitting at home come out and join our team we’d love to have you,” said Moore.

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