Ottawa Valley businesses looking for workers as unemployment rate falls in September

New numbers from Statistic Canada Friday show unemployment fell across the country in September for the first time in three months.

Twenty-one thousand new jobs were added last month, dropping the national unemployment rate from 5.4 percent in August to 5.2 percent in September.

That spike in the workforce was expected, though, with many of those jobs tied to the education sector and schools returning full time once again.

But that means many local businesses are still struggling to find workers and fill shifts.

Tim Karras, owner of Karras’ Way Restaurant in Renfrew, Ont., says he’s been looking to hire for over a year now.

“I was open seven days a week, I’m down to five days because of the shortage of workers,” Karras tells CTV News Ottawa.

He’s in search of servers, bartenders, and delivery drivers, and is surprised more people aren’t interested in applying for his open positions.

“They’re going through tough times,” he says. “Things are expensive, gas is up, this is up, everything is up, and yet you’d think people would be going out and looking for that extra income. But for some reason they’re not doing that.”

“You’ll notice a lot of the local retail stores are always looking for new employees,” says Danielle Delaney, Executive Director of the Greater Arnprior Chamber of Commerce.

Delaney says with the rise in inflation not matching the rise in the minimum wage, many businesses in Arnprior are finding in difficult to find employees that meet their needs.

“I think that is the tricky part for a lot of employers, having people who are still going to be available on those evenings and weekends.”

The trend is expected to continue with seasonal work and shopping hours on the horizon. 

Delaney suggests those still looking for work at that time make themselves known.

“The businesses are actively looking,” she says.

“So I suggest going in, letting them know your face, showing them you’re interested, and they are always looking to find people.”

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