Local businesses say work search requirement isn’t helping with worker shortage

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Posted at 6:29 AM, Jun 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-08 06:29:03-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla — It's been about a week and a half since those collecting unemployment benefits in Florida have had to prove they're looking for a job.

Fox 4 has been working to follow up with local business owners to see if that's helping with the worker shortage yet.

South Cape Diner is looking for workers to fill its waitress, cook, and dishwasher openings. But the owner said getting people through the doors isn't the problem, getting them to come back to work is.

“Some of them come in for interviews but they don't really looking for job. Even you interview them, and then you tell them they can start tomorrow or the next day. They never showed up after that,” said Felix Estiveine, Owner of South Cape Diner.

For about a year and a half, Estiveine said he's been working seven days a week to try and fill the void the worker shortage has caused his establishment.

Since the work search requirement went back into effect, unemployment claimants have had to prove three to five work searches each week again.

Estiveine said he's had about six or seven applicants come in this week alone, but no new employees.

That could change when the additional $300 in federal unemployment benefits expire at the end of this month.

When Fox 4 spoke with CareerSource Southwest Florida last week, it said it’s been seeing an influx of claimants coming in with questions about the new work search requirement.

We asked for data on how many of its clients have had interviews or accepted a job since the requirement went back into effect. It said that is not information that it tracks.