Here’s how some Ohioans are taking advantage of the job market and how businesses are being affected

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 2:14 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The job market right now is unlike anything most people have ever seen.

Everyone is hiring and desperate for staff. Some workers are cashing in on the situation, while others are still on the sidelines.

Many people, like Darrell Taylor, have not worked for most of the pandemic.

“Twelve dollars an hour, driving to Streetsboro or a far distance for a little bit of money? I said, ‘Hey, I’m getting unemployment. Might as well stay home, collect unemployment and pay my bills, make ends meet, and then when unemployment runs out, go back into the workforce,’” Taylor said.

But this week ,Taylor is proud to be starting a new job.

“Warehouse janitorial, cleaning up the plant. He said if he needs me, I’ll help out if they come up short,” Taylor said.

He worked with Cleveland-based staffing company The Reserves Network to find the perfect post to re-enter the workforce, something CEO Neil Stallard says not enough people are doing.

“Every company out there is absolutely dying for people. I’ve never seen a market like this where it is so completely lopsided between job seekers and job openings,” Stallard said.

He says companies are frustrated and scrambling for staff at all skill levels, offering increased pay rates, signing bonuses, perks and work from home arrangements.

“In the middle of all of this, they have COVID protocols and now vaccine mandates and everything else that’s being thrown at them, none of which is conducive to bringing in new team members,” said Stallard.

The competition for employees is leading to high quit rates, causing even more disruption for employers and their operations.

“They’re jumping for a quarter more an hour here, a day off here, or a perk there, or a work from home day here, a better work environment here. They just have options so they could work five different jobs in a month,” he said.

While higher pay may sound great initially, Stallard said it will also negatively affect consumers.

“I have to pay somebody 25% more, which means I have to charge 25% more for my product to pay for new salaries,” he said.

Taylor says he still has concerns about going in to a manufacturing environment during the pandemic, but his desire to return to the workforce outweigh his hesitations.

“It’s what I want to do because I have to provide for my family. I can’t just sit at home and hope they do another shutdown and get another relief package. A lot of people are still waiting on that, but it’s not going to happen,” said Taylor.

He’s looking forward to interacting with people, being a team player, contributing once again.

“Maybe I can progress and maybe I can get a manager position and help other people get a job there,” he said.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be bringing you more “Project: Now Hiring” stories like this about getting people back to work, which industries are hardest hit, what they’re doing to get back to full staff, and the Amazon effect.

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