Unemployment rates nationally continue to fall, while some businesses in Erie continue to report staffing issues, causing them to have trouble staying open.

Everywhere you go, you’re sure to notice help wanted signs on streets or businesses saying that they’re hiring.

With this summer being arguably the most normal since the start of the pandemic, consumer demand has skyrocketed.

With demand increasing, many local businesses have been struggling to keep up. The Erie Donut Factory is one of those businesses. 

The store opened at the beginning of the month. But because they can’t find enough employees, they’re forced to close on days they’d like to be open.

“The biggest challenge we’ve had so far is definitely a staffing issue. If we’re closed unfortunately it’s due to not having enough staff. We’re doing the best we can to get things rolling and get some more people in here,” said Samantha Anthony, head baker, Erie Donut Factory. “We only have about four to five employees right now. We’ve all been working pretty much seven days a week; if not from eight hours a day, we’ve worked even 17 hours in a day.”

We also spoke with the Reserves Network, a staffing agency on West 8th Street. The branch manager tells us they’ve seen more hiring managers coming to them looking for employees.

“A lot of this comes down to pay. I would recommend businesses kind of look around, see what other companies are paying, make sure that they’re at least in line. Or if you want the best of the best, you’re probably going to need to pay a little bit more than your competitors in order to attract the talent that you’re trying to attract,” said Dan Hamilton, Erie branch manager, The Reserves Network.

Another key to keeping workers is to talk to your employees one-on-one and see what makes them happy and content when working.

Hamilton says we’re close to a tipping point, with there not being enough people to fill the jobs posted.

“I think what we have right now is just too much demand and not enough people to actually fill all of the jobs,” said Hamilton.

Companies like the Erie Donut Factory are looking to bounce back and say they are doing the best they can to continue to serve customers.