Duval County

Hospitality industry adds 25,000 new jobs in July, struggles to fill positions

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The latest jobs report released Friday shows Florida added nearly 64,000 new private sector jobs in July, with many in the hospitality industry.

The unemployment rate saw a slight uptick from 5% in June to 5.1% in July. The unemployment rate was 11.5% n July 2020 when Florida first opened up after the COVID shutdown.

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Meanwhile, several Jacksonville restaurants continue to struggle with the ongoing labor shortage despite adding thousands of new jobs.

Chad Munsey, the co-owner of The Bearded Pig, said they are now closed on Mondays to give staff a break.

”Both kitchen and the dining room. They’re just worn out,” he said. “You feel like you’re underwater — always behind.”

The Bearded Pig is hiring both back-of-house and front-of-house positions.

In June, Florida stopped providing federal unemployment benefits. Also, those on unemployment must apply for five jobs a week.

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”We saw a little bump in applications,” Munsey said.

He added that some might be hesitant to return to work with the latest surge in COVID-19 cases.

Munsey said food distributors and alcohol purveyors are also feeling the nationwide labor shortage.