NKY employer frustrated by lack of job applicants: ‘They’re destroying small business’

Few people show up for interviews. Those that do, rarely return, says one Latonia business owner.
Tri-State business struggling to hire, says unemployment money is to blame
Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 10:04 PM EDT
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KENTON COUNTY, Ky. (FOX19) - Local business owners struggling to find workers say they’re hopeful recent news from the Tri-State’s three governors could induce a bump in job applications.

Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana are all reinstituting work-search requirements for those seeking unemployment insurance benefits. The requirement is now active in Kentucky. Ohio will begin enforcing it the week of May 23, and an executive order from Gov. Eric Holcomb is forthcoming this week.

David Vonbokern owns Davon Auto in Latonia. “Help Wanted” signs adorn the front of his business, as they do businesses across the Tri-State.

Vonbokern says he supports the states’ decisions to make those applying for unemployment benefits show proof they’re actively seeking work.

“They’re destroying small business,” he said on Monday. “Small businesses are what’s hurting the worst.”

Vonbokern says he understood when potential applicants cited COVID-19 as a reason for not seeking work, but he says times have changed.

He explains his business has posted on hiring websites, but few have shown up to interviews, and those that do rarely come back.

“I interviewed one guy for six hours three different times. Made a decision to hire him. Didn’t show up when we hired him,” Vonbokern said.

The Latonia business owner calls the situation frustrating and a “waste of time.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce claims one of every four people on unemployment is making more money not working than if they were.

“They need to do something,” Vonbokern said. “They need to get people back to work.”

He adds he’s leaving hours later than normal due to the worker shortage.

“See how dirty my hands are,” he said. “I’m doing the whole thing. We just have to pick up the slack.”

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