Reno employers struggle to hire, as worker shortage lingers in Nevada

Business owner Steve Ferguson rings up an order at his Chop Stop in Reno, Nev.  on Jan.  7, 2022. The salad franchise has been struggling with hiring and keeping employee.  It's had to raise wages and looking to do so one more time in order to attract employees.

Lori Gonzalez, manager of the Chop Stop, sits at her desk, dreading the afternoon. That’s when she has to make the weekly schedule.

Like many businesses across Nevada, this chopped salad restaurant — opened in early October 2020 — is dealing with a post-pandemic headache: The reluctance of employees willing to work.

“People apply for a job, they show up for one day and they leave or they don’t show up at all. It’s crazy,” Gonzalez said. “It’s very draining to the people who do show up for their job. You know, I’ve got a handful of employees picking up the slack and we’re all tired.”

Those employees picking up the slack often work seven days a week with no help to be found, and employers across Northern Nevada are feeling the squeeze. This worker shortage is a lingering symptom of a national trend dubbed the Great Resignation — a sweeping, pandemic-triggered exodus of employees that continues today as people seek remote work, switch careers or flat out quit.

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