DeWitt pizza shop offering up to $18 a hour amidst labor shortage

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Last month’s U.S. jobs report was extremely disappointing. Employers added 266,000 jobs after some forecasts showed that number could be closer to one million.

A Lansing area pizza shop owner isn’t surprised.

“Well I think it’s simple supply and demand. There’s a lot of demand. You can see the help wanted signs everywhere you look and the labor supply is short. A lot of people, young people, just aren’t entering the job market as much as they used too.”

Tim Padot is the general manager and owner of Peppino’s Pizza in DeWitt. You may have seen his “now hiring” signs around, offering people up to $18 an hour – something he said has multiple benefits.

“It helps you retain employees so you don’t have to go through this problem again and again and again. Once you get them, then you’ve got to keep them. And the second thing is if you’ve got four people who can do the work of five, well then the labor rate for that particular hour stays the same,” said Padot.

Another reason Padot said it’s so hard to find people is because of the COVID-19 unemployment money.

“I’m not only competing against all the other fast-casual restaurants who are also looking for labor. But now I’m also competing against unemployment as well. I’ve got to look at that and say how do I get those people to come into the store and work for us.

Carrie Rosingana, the CEO of Capital Area Michigan Works! — thinks the labor shortage is much more complicated than people just being lazy and collecting unemployment.

“I don’t think anything is ever that simple. From my experience there’s so much that’s being faced by so many right now that the pandemic has only really amplified some of those challengers that were already in existence even pre-pandemic,” she said.

Padot says if you are interested in taking advantage of that up to $18 an hour, the best thing to do is walk up to the door and go in.

“We don’t take any applications online or through the mail or email or anything like that. We want to put eyes on people. We want to meet them and shake their hand before they even touch the application so really the interview process begins as soon as they walk in the front door,” he said.

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