Worker shortage hits San Antonio as businesses try to increase hiring

Companies are doing what they can to find new employees

SAN ANTONIO – Right now, businesses across the country are dealing with a shortage of workers and San Antonio is not immune to the problem.

A restaurant locally, Mi Tierra, said they like many others are looking to hire a lot of people.

“We started with a $1,000 dollar bonus on the service, and that didn’t bring anybody in, I mean, it was very difficult and it’s still very difficult,” Gerardo Carvajal, manager at Mi Tierra said. “All around the restaurant we have jobs from the back of the house, front of the house, servers, managers, dishwashers, cooks, just about everywhere,” Carvajal said.

And its not just Mi Tierra – there are tens of thousands of job openings, all around the country.

“Today, actually, we have about 46,000 job openings (in San Antonio) since November of 2022. In November of 2021, we added about 50,000 jobs,” Adrian Lopez, CEO of Workforce Solutions Alamo said.

The latest nationwide job numbers show a slowing in hiring, but also a lower unemployment rate. A financial specialist with Victory Capital explained what the job openings could mean down the road.

What sort of ramifications does an employment shortage and worker shortage have for our local economy?

“Well, those costs often do get passed along to the consumer, so it can lead to potential inflation beyond what maybe we’ve seen already. We’ve all been talking about inflation and hearing about inflation. A lot of that’s been driven by the cost of goods and how expensive actual inputs have become. Now, when you add on top of that labor getting more expensive, it could only further that issue,” Mannik Dhillon, president of Victory Capital Solutions at Victory Capital Management said.

In the short term, the omicron variant is only adding to the issues.

“Now we have people calling out every day, and it’s very, very challenging,” Carvajal said.

More and more people are testing positive for COVID-19 and local businesses now have more obstacles. Mi Tierra said they even had to adjust their hours. Before coronavirus they were 24 hours, but now they are having to shut down for times of the day because they don’t have enough workers.

Due to the difficulties, businesses are trying to attract talent often by offering signing bonuses and higher wages.

“We have free childcare for anyone wanting to work in a service industry like this establishment here, with Mi Tierra, or with Marriott and others where we are having hiring events,” Lopez said. You can find additional information by clicking here.

As for Mi Tierra, they will continue to push forward and look for more workers.

“It’s great. I mean, just look around. There’s a lot of culture tradition in San Antonio, it’s the place to be at,” Carvajal said.

About the Authors

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.

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