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Tri-State labor shortage

QUINCY (WGEM) — A labor shortage continues to plague the Tri-States.

It’s putting a strain on businesses and forcing managers and employees to put in more and more hours.

Managers at Native Grill and Wings say they’re putting anywhere between 55 to 70 hours a week in to make sure the kitchen is running smoothly.

“This past Tuesday, we had a table of 5 people come in and ordered over 200 wings for that table,” said Jonathon Campbell, Native Grill and Wings Kitchen Manager.

Tuesdays at Native Grill and Wings can get pretty hectic.

“At one point, just on the tickets we had hanging, we had 400 wings hanging. We went through 2700 wings thereabout Tuesday that we sold,” said Campbell

Without enough line cooks, Campbell says it all falls on himself and another manager to make sure the kitchen runs smoothly.

“There’s been a lot of times where she’s had 70 plus hours on a lot of weeks and a lot of weeks where I’m 55, 60 myself,” said Campbell.

It’s happening all across the Tri-States.

Just three days ago, customers at the the Wendy’s in Palmyra saw a sign on the drive-through stating that employees did not show up for work.

“I am sincerely sorry. We are not open. Due to no employees showed up,” the sign read.

Experts say the jobs that need filled aren’t the ones young people are interested in.

“If it becomes get out of bed and work or not and the wages aren’t that great and the hours are bad and they’re not being treated the way they thing they should be treated then they’ll probably choose not to work,” said Mitch Ellison, Quincy University Economics Professor.

Ellison says young people are also rejecting the idea of a 40 hour work week.

“There’s a certain segment of the population that has chosen to not work 40 hour a week jobs instead they’re putting together what they call gigs and several part time jobs,” said Ellison.

Ellison suggests raising wages and moving to a four-day work week to help businesses attract more workers.

Campbell says says he hopes returning students help ease the the burden.

But until then, the extra hours will continue to take their toll.

“Just a lot of fatigue, being tired, aches and pains and everything that comes with that,” said Campbell.

To see a list of job openings in the Tri-State visit Whig Jobs.

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