Area Labor Shortage Has Employers Digging into Their Pockets for Signing Bonuses and $15 Hourly Wages

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Labor shortages have cut across numerous businesses, including the hospitality industry.

From restaurants to hospitals, employers in the Philadelphia region are having trouble finding enough workers. In response to this labor shortage, they are resorting to various incentives to attract employees. Current tactics include signing bonuses and the debut of $15-an-hour wages. David Murrell tallies the impact for the Philadelphia Magazine.

Starr Restaurants has used humor, neighborhood canvassing, and signing bonuses.

While restaurants and hotels gained the most attention regarding the labor shortage, the challenge in finding workers is prevalent across businesses regionwide.

The demand for summer-school programs increased so much this year, that some school districts were unable to hire enough teachers for in-person instruction. They, therefore, moved summer sessions online.

Meanwhile, some Einstein Healthcare hospitals are having trouble filling open positions, especially for nurses.

Labor advocates agree that this is most likely a temporary shift of the labor market in favor of the employee and not a fundamental realignment. They also believe, however, the time is ripe for employees to make gains.

“Now is an opportunity for workers to push back and lock in permanent increases that they can hang onto for years to come,” said Emiliano Rodriguez, an organizer with Unite Here Local 274.

Read more about the current labor shortage in Philadelphia Magazine.

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