22,000 job openings in Washoe County

There's plenty of jobs available. Why aren't people applying for them?
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 7:59 PM PDT
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WASHOE COUNTY, Nev. (KOLO) - Ann Silver, the chief executive officer of the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce, says there are 22,000 job openings in Washoe County.

”It’s a shocking number, but I’m not surprised,” she said of the figure.

We’re taking a closer look at this issue including the specific reasons employers can’t fill open positions, the impact this hiring shortage could have on wages, and how long it could take for the job market to correct itself.

KOLO 8 News Now found 65 job openings in the short amount of time it took him to walk into five businesses near the Reno Arch.

KOLO also found just over 200 open positions at the Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa.

The casino’s human resources department first recognized this hiring shortage in June of 2020.

”By July we realized it was going to be a challenge to keep ourselves staffed to meet our guest needs,” said Atlantis Casino’s Human Resources Director Heather Kinnear.

The reasons for this hiring shortage are varied.

”You can start with the fact that there were enhanced unemployment benefits. You have child care issues. You have people who can’t afford transportation. You have people who left the job market at all levels. You have people who decided I’m not going back to a corporate job,” Silver said.

”What impact do you think this will have on wages?” Bond asked.

”Employees are basically demanding certain wages to return to work or to start work. They’re now in the driver seat and saying I’m not going to work for $9 an hour,” Silver responded.

Silver said she expected the job market to normalize during the fall of 2020, but now says the hiring shortage will likely continue until the COVID-19 virus is controlled.

As of July 2021 a total of 48 percent of Nevadans were vaccinated.

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