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Businesses Hiking Wages In Hopes Of Attracting Hospitality Workers To Empty Positions

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - It's becoming increasingly more difficult to find hospitality workers to fill the open jobs. The signs are up on almost every corner that businesses are hiring.

"People still might have fear unemployment could be a factor. Because of the big benefits, they may not be as eager to jump back into the field," said Maya Johnson.

Johnson manages Klavon's Ice Cream in the Strip District. After struggling to find workers this March, the owner of the shop announced he was raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

"Almost overnight, we got thousands of resumes emailed through. People were coming in the door and I was doing interviews on the spot," Johnson said.

Sheetz and Chipotle are now following suit. Both announced they'll increase starting hourly wage by $2 to encourage employees to apply and stay with the company.

"Over and over again companies just don't recognize and value their employees and they underpay, not recognizing the cost of not having well trained and well knowledgeable employees. And high turnover is an expense too," said Point Park Professor Elaine Luther.

With the bounce back in business, Luther said people are looking for a job where they feel safe, valued and can make a livable wage. So KDKA asked Luther if this could be just the beginning of businesses hiking the starting rate to get those employees in the door.

"The market could make the decision because the market could say the places that pay more get the better workers," Luther said.

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