I-Team 8

Indiana businesses have more jobs than people applying for them

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — There are help wanted signs all over central Indiana and employers are telling I-Team 8 they have more jobs available than people applying for them.

So why aren’t people coming to work? Several employers say the government is paying too much in unemployment. 

Gov. Holcomb is expected to take action to stem the tide for those collecting unemployment benefits and encourage them to go back to work. A statement issued by his office says he will reinstate the requirement for people accepting unemployment benefits to actively look for work.  

The announcement couldn’t come soon enough for Tim Siddiq, the CEO of Merchandise Warehouse on the near-south side of Indianapolis. He needs more forklift operators to move merchandise around the cold storage warehouse.   

“It has been a huge challenge getting people to come back to work. So we are basically competing with the other businesses around here and the government because people are getting paid enough to stay home,” Siddiq said. 

Frozen food is one of the main products stored in his facility. His customers depend on him to get the product moved when needed. Siddiq has increased the starting wage, offers benefits and is flexible on experience. 

“If we get the right candidate, we will train them as well,” Siddiq said.  

After a disappointing job report late last week, President Joe Biden announced steps Monday afternoon to get people back into the workforce.  

“We are going to make it clear that anyone collecting unemployment who is offered a suitable job must take the job or lose their unemployment benefits. There are a few COVID-19-related exceptions so that people aren’t forced to choose between their safety and a paycheck. But otherwise, that’s the law,” Biden said.

Holcomb says Indiana’s unemployment rate is near pre-pandemic levels. He is looking at whether the state will continue to participate in federal programs that include extra unemployment money. 

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