LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – At the height of the pandemic, Las Vegas’ economy was one of the hardest hit in the nation, but new numbers show the metro area has recovered faster than any other major city in the United States. More people are now working in Las Vegas than before the pandemic, and businesses like restaurants are struggling to find enough workers.
At Todd’s Unique Dining on Sunset Road, you’ll now find owner Todd Clore in the kitchen. While cooking is a passion, he is forced to queue because the restaurant is understaffed.
“We’re actively hiring, always,” Clore said.
For more than a year, it’s been a hassle to recruit. The restaurant has not been fully staffed since the pandemic restrictions were lifted.
“It seems like people aren’t interested in work, or aren’t into it, or just aren’t into food and drink anymore,” Clore said.
According to new statistics from the US Bureau of Labor, job losses in the spring of 2020 were comparable to those of the Great Depression.
However, unlike previous recessions, the rebound was quick: more than 60% of the jobs lost came back a year later. Total employment in the United States is only one percentage point lower than the pre-COVID peak.
Las Vegas has rebounded dramatically. The metro experienced greater job growth than anywhere else in the country between March 2021 and March 2022, up 12.6%, a 0.1% increase from the start of the pandemic.
“I’m surprised he came back as quickly as he did,” Clore said.
From a nearly empty restaurant due to COVID-19 restrictions, to high demand, Todd’s is now losing business because it can’t hire more staff.
“We’ve gone to five days a week instead of six days a week, which is three more people I don’t have to hire because I can’t find them right now,” Clore said.
A year ago, FOX5 featured Greek Chicken on Rainbow Boulevard which a worker says is still closed on Sundays because they too can’t find enough staff and keep having openings.
Clore says it’s frustrating, he just wants to find people who want to work.
“We can help educate you. We would be very happy to receive you. We just need a few hands,” Clore said.
According to new figures, the industries with the largest gains in Nevada over the past six months: construction, trade/transportation/utilities and leisure/hospitality.
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