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Some restaurants raise prices, drop items as cost of goods increase amid worker shortage

The worker shortage is also impacting the price of items at some Midlands businesses as they say it's led to an increase on goods.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The number of available jobs has reached a record high with roughly 9.2 million available in May, according to the latest statistics from the Department of Labor.

The count comes as some businesses continue to struggle to find employees amid the coronavirus pandemic. The worker shortage is also impacting the price of items at some Midland's businesses as they say it's led to an increase on goods.

Baker's Sweets in Sumter has increased prices by 10 percent, as products get more expensive and harder to find amid the pandemic.

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"All our plastic ware, paper goods, all that stuff is going up," General Manager Jackie Dupree said. "Our milk. It’s just been a lot. Sometimes we can’t get our boxes for takeout."

She believes staffing is the issue.

"Everybody is having a hard time employing people or keeping people," Dupree said. "It’s getting better, but we’ve had trucks show up at 7:30 at night to bring us our products because they don’t have staff, so it’s all the way around kind of thing.”

Good Greens in Columbia shared a similar story with some products a challenge to find.

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"Just getting the right product that we need to use is just really tough right now," Owner Darrell Hanshaw said. "I guess the labor shortage is what they’re all blaming it on, but we’re making it work.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in leisure and hospitality has risen by six million since April of 2020, but it’s still 2.2 million lower than in February last year.

Both Dupree and Hanshaw say they're looking to fill positions.

Hanshaw says they haven't increased prices yet and are hoping for the best as business ramps up, but workers remain in short supply.