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Local businesses struggling to find workers, but is the unemployment benefit boost to blame?

There are job openings, but where are the workers?

That’s the question being posed by many as the economy reopens with individuals getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board says they see a lot of openings across a lot of industries, but unemployment continues to be an issue.

Some business owners are blaming the current unemployment benefits.


Lynn Freid, executive director of the Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board, says it’s a little more complicated than that.

“Childcare businesses shut down. So if you are, you know, parents with young children, suddenly you found yourself without childcare for your kids,” she told 13WHAM. “Unless you have childcare to satisfy the time, what do you do when you’re homeschooling, and they’re doing all that remote?”

There are also questions about compensation for employees. Low wage workers, often those who work in sales or service, have to work several jobs to make ends meet. And while many view these jobs as temporary, ‘stepping stones’, the fact is that they now drive a large portion of the region’s economy, meaning more people are locked into these jobs for a long period of time.

Regardless though, this is something that workforce leaders and business owners will be contending with throughout the summer and fall.



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