Business owner puts up billboard offering $10,000 sign on bonus in search of more employees

Business owner puts up billboard offering $10,000 sign on bonus in search of more employees
Business owner puts up billboard offering $10,000 sign on bonus in search of more employees(WAFB)
Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 10:45 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - As the unemployment rate continues to fall, there is still a huge need for workers in our area and across the country.

People are literally getting desperate to hire people with the holidays right around the corner.

One business owner, even put up a billboard on Airline, offering a $10,000 signing bonus for plumbers!

“We started at 5 (5000). We said let’s move it to 10.

That’s as high as we can go,” said David Murphy, the owner of Rooter-Man Plumbing.

$10,000 - the moment you sign on the dotted line.

“For a plumber,” said Murphy.

“And still no one’s called you?” questioned WAFB’s Lester Duhe’.

“No one’s called me,” said Murphy.

Murphy is another prime example of business owners not having luck finding workers, so they’re pulling out all the stops.

“Our phone rings all day long. And we have to turn to work down on a daily basis because we can’t get to them,” said Murphy.

Murphy believes there’s a shortage of skilled workers that have gone to trade schools.

And says his situation isn’t fully related to COVID or low wages.

“Plumbers can make $100,000 easily a year if they know what they’re doing,” said Murphy.

“Every employer is kind of feeling the burden of this mismatch in the labor force,” said Adam Knapp, President & CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.

The folks over at BRAC say the unemployment rate in the Capitol region, has fallen to 4.2 percent, the lowest it’s been since before the pandemic.

“So, what you’re seeing now, there’s the same amount of jobs available pre-pandemic maybe even more. It’s just they can’t fill them. Because there’s not enough people and the people that are unemployed, there’s a skills mismatch,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, Senior VP of Business Intelligence with the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.

BRAC believes a small number of folks that are still not applying to the 30,000 plus job openings in our area, is because of fears of the virus.

But the rest of the workers may fall into 4 big boxes.

“The first box is folks that just decided to retire early.

The second box would be folks that went back to school.

A lot of people were able to save a lot of money in the pandemic, so they said, I’m going to sit out of the workforce, and maybe not go back to my job.

Or a lot of people probably enjoyed spending time with their kids or their elderly loved ones during the pandemic,” said Fitzgerald.

BRAC officials believe the unemployment rate will fall even more, as we head into the new year.

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