Local businesses expecting more workers as unemployment compensation ends

Memphis, Tenn. — The end of all federally funded pandemic unemployment compensation programs goes into effect today.

This was signed off on by Governor Bill Lee in May.

While some people may not like this news it could be positive for local business owners who have told FOX13 they’ve struggled with finding people who want to work.

FOX13 spoke with Wayne Tabor from the Memphis Hotel and Lodging Association. He says the ending of the pandemic unemployment programs could bring in more workers.

Tabor says hotels in Memphis aren’t able to meet the demands right now with restrictions now gone.

He says he expects that to change slowly but surely

“As those benefits run out I don’t think it’s going to be a quick situation where people will be out looking for jobs on Tuesday morning after the holiday but I think that once they start thinking about having to have an income then the job market will open up probably hopefully substantially,” he said.

Tabor says he expects things to turn around in the labor market deep into the fall around October and November.

Shawn Danko, who owns the Kooky Canuck, said Memphis business owners have had a tough time finding workers.

“The money’s out there,” Danko said. “There are plenty of jobs. Everybody’s looking for people to work.”

But this should change with pandemic unemployment programs ending.

“It’s a great opportunity to get out there and start working again,” he said. “Of course the restaurant industry and the hospitality industry is an awesome place to do that.”

Some of the programs ending include an extra $300 weekly for those who were receiving unemployment and benefits for people who wouldn’t normally qualify such as the self-employed, gig and part-time workers.

Wayne Tabor, from the Memphis Hotel and Lodging Association, said this is good news for the local hospitality industry.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a quick situation where people will be out looking for jobs on Tuesday morning after the holiday but I think that once they start thinking about having to have an income then the job market will open up probably hopefully substantially, “Tabor said.

Tabor said it’s been hard to find workers, limiting the ability to meet a growing demand with COVID-19 restrictions now gone.

“Most hotels still today are not offering automatic overnight cleaning if you’re an overnight guest,” he said. “It’s something that you request and they’ll come and do it but it’s not going to be an automatic come and clean your room for the next night.”

Danko said there should be a growing pool of workers as the demand for business increases.

“We like to think that things are loosening up a little bit here and people start getting back out and looking for an opportunity to work again,” Danko said.