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Bend business owner says jobless benefits have added to challenges to fill openings

Says she's never faced tougher task in 16 years of operation

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- For Stacy Rightmire, summertime can be one of the busiest times of the year for her roofing company -- and with the recent storm that tore through Culver, she needs more employees now more than ever.

But finding workers is harder than she imagined. She's posted job listings on the radio and Facebook and even has two employment agencies trying to help her fill several entry-level positions.

Rightmire said some of the people she's offered an interview to don't respond and ones that accepted the job never showed up for work.

"This is very new," Rightmire said Wednesday. I mean, (it's) always hard to find good laborers out there, and good workers who want to stay working. This is very different from normal -- we've never dealt with people not showing for interviews."

Rightmire believes some of the difficulties she's dealing with could be because of some unemployment benefits Oregonians are receiving. People across the country have been receiving an extra $600 bonus every week because of COVID-19. That $600 bonus will expire at the end of July, but Rightmire expects it to be extended.

 "It's going to continue to cause employers problems," Rightmire said. "It really is an extreme situation right now."

Rightmire said businesses like hers will feel the effects of eligible workers that continue receiving unemployment benefits. After all, it is the businesses that primarily fund unemployment benefits in the state.

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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.


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