Take-out Liquor - Sitting at home day after day in 2020 sucked, but at least some of our favorite bars began providing to-go alcohol sales. It was definitely a silver lining in 2020.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says with a recovering economy there are lots of jobs needed to be filled – 8.1 million of them.

So why is it so hard to find people willing to work any of these positions?

There are several theories when it comes down to it. Businesses are doing whatever they can to get those jobs filled. That includes huge incentive plans, everything from signing bonuses to cash paid for referrals. Companies hold mass hiring events to fill jobs. “I’d be lying if I said there’s a flood of applications coming in every day,” said Jay Spungin, Director of Operations for Mac’s Speed Shop.

And it’s not just in one part of town. Just about everywhere you look is another sign, another marquee asking people to come in and fill out an application. The war is fighting over a field of an ever-scarce workforce.

That’s a war Mac’s Speed Shop president Shang Skipper knows all too well. “We’re seeing an extreme shortage of employees,” Skipper said.

Skipper said the problem is multifaceted. But the bottom line is many workers are electing to stay at home instead of finding jobs. “The unemployment and stimulus packages that are running through August is a hindrance to people coming back to work,” Skipper said.

So in order to make employment attractive, businesses have begun throwing out benefits packages to people willing to walk in the front door and fill out an application.

“We’re looking at every possible way to not only incentivize people to come work for us, but also make sure we’re taking care of the people that have been working for us,” Spungin said.

And for those willing to work for it, the perks can be pretty impressive.

At Mac’s Speed Shop, they’re offering paycheck bonuses, referral bonuses, profit sharing, health insurance, manager hiring bonuses, a grand for long-term kitchen hires and free employee meals.

Skipper spends much of his day scouring insider websites to make sure he’s ahead of the curve when it comes to incentivizing people on the fence.

“I’m always looking for something better, if we can do better, then I want to do better by our employees,” Skipper said.

And the consequences can be dire.

Mac’s is only down 25 percent of their workforce, and still has to post a sign letting customers know that service could be slower because of the lack of the willingness to work.

“Of course it’s frustrating. But we’re doing all we can to attract all the people and be the employer of trust in the area.” Spungin said.