South Dakota businesses see lack of people applying as job openings surpass 23,000

The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation wants to help people connect with jobs.
Businesses in South Dakota are needing to fill vacancies at the businesses.
Businesses in South Dakota are needing to fill vacancies at the businesses.(Connor Matteson)
Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 3:47 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Help wanted has now turned into help needed for many places like Piesano’s Pacchia.

“It’s just hard to get help,” says owner Stacey Livermont.

Secretary Marcia Hultman from the Department of Labor and Regulation says initial claims for unemployment are going back to normal rates, but continued claim numbers still remain higher than usual in South Dakota.

“Our job numbers have also increased, we’re seeing some of the highest number of job openings,” says Hultman. “We have our South Dakota Works Job Board where employers can post jobs and seekers can look for jobs and we’ve been averaging around 23,000 open jobs every day and those again are historic highs for job opening numbers.”

Hultman has seen this trend on an uptick even before the pandemic hit but now thinks some people are hesitant to return to work after COVID.

It’s a trend that led Livermont to social media looking for solutions.

“Since we’ve been open in the last couple months and trying to get help, we’ve had kids quit and we’ve had people come and work a night and the not come back and so it’s been really tough,” says Livermont.

Livermont only has a handful of employees right now and has had to limit business hours in order to not overwork her employees, but what’s keeping her head up is hope.

“I do have faith in the community and I’m pretty sure eventually this will all turn around. We just have to keep grinding and just do what we go to do to survive because it’s a little crazy and it is a little stressful, but our community is wonderful and I’m pretty sure that things will turn around,” says Livermont.

Hultman does hope with the vaccine rollout efforts, more people will be returning to work. The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation can help anyone looking for a job and you can click the link here for more information.

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