COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Labor shortages continue to impact several industries across the country, especially the service industry.
This is one reason why White Castle announced Tuesday that it is raising starting pay for new employees to $15 per hours.
For owners of smaller businesses, this means more competition in a highly competitive labor market.
During a trial run of the new wage in Detroit, White Castle found applications tripled.
“So, we’ve been having a hard time hiring people,” said White Castle spokesman Jamie Richardson. “We want our castles to be ready for summer. We’re typically open 24-7 and in some instances, we aren’t able to do that right now.”
Small businesses are struggling to find employees, too.
Hell, I’d take a high school kid right now,” said Bill Boehm, owner of Valentino’s Car Care. “That’s how desperate we are.”
“Literally almost one out of every two businesses in Ohio are struggling to find people to work,” said Roger Geiger, Ohio executive director for the National Federation of Independent Business.
As more businesses boost incentives to attract talent, owners are feeling the competition.
“It’s really hard,” Boehm said. “I guess I gotta up my ante. I gotta pay $20 an hour, which means all my salaries are going to go up.”
Because of that, economists said right now, potential employees have more power than they’ve had in decades.
“I think there’s the potential for existing disparities between businesses that can afford this sort of pay bump and can’t increasing and that may be a disadvantage, but from the workers’ side, this is a good thing,” said Ohio State University economics professor Dr. Bruce Weinberg.