Watch CBS News

Omicron Impacts Downtown Sacramento Businesses' Struggle To Find Temporary Workers

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — For the last month, local businesses have been juggling staff and seeking replacements after being impacted by the COVID-19 Omicron surge.

It's been no easy task given the impact on temp agencies that are up for the job to fill those positions.

John Kabateck owns Kabateck Strategies, a political and public affairs firm in downtown Sacramento. He says the omicron variant has disrupted business as usual.

"We all want this pandemic in the rearview mirror," he said.

With employees calling out sick and COVID-19 quarantines, Kabateck, like many others, has turned to a staffing company for help. These staffing issues come amid a skilled labor shortage that is happening nationwide.

"Temporary employees are being exposed at the same rate as people working," said Mary Meyer with River City Staffing. "And that's part of what we're here for, to go through the volume that we need to, to get to the candidates that are available, that are healthy and ready to work."

Meyer is working hard to keep up with the recent increased employer demand for skilled quality labor.

"Reaching out on multiple platforms, doing a lot more aggressive outbound searches has been really important to bringing in the volume that we need," she said.

Meyer has seen a recent uptick in response and applications but nothing like pre-pandemic levels. With employees in such short supply, employers are having to make more concessions.

"In terms of remote work or flexibility, higher pay rates or a different benefits plans that are more creative. To offer something to make it worth it for them to risk going into the office or go into the office and accept a position and create some sense of loyalty," Meyer said.

Kabateck is also state director of the National Federation of Independent Business. He predicts this staffing shortage will extend beyond the surge.

"We have found small business owners are increasing various things: compensation, benefits to get more people to come through the door. The challenge is it's just not working," he said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.