LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — New stats show thousands of Kentuckians are quitting their jobs.
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, Kentucky had the highest increase in quit rates in the entire nation between July and August 2021. They estimate 142,000 people quit their jobs during that time.
The effects of that can be seen by the number of hiring signs outside of local businesses.
Gwyn Everly, the owner at J. Render's Southern Kitchen and Bar, says it's been like pulling teeth trying to get people in to work.
"We set up so many interviews, and they never show they never call. And you know, that happens more frequently. We're shocked when someone actually shows up for an interview now," said Everly.
Everly says on the rare occasion that they do get a new hire, they often don't stay long.
"We haven't had anybody in the last month or so. But we have experienced that where they come and they earn one paycheck and then they're gone," said Everly.
She says they're not the only local business wondering what's going on.
"We don't know exactly why because it's not like they do an exit interview to say the reason they're leaving," said Everly.
Some businesses have resorted to increasing their pay significantly to attract workers who've complained about rising costs of living and goods. But Everly says that's more challenging for mom-and-pop shops like theirs.
"Our margins are so slim, and food prices are going up and we're trying to hold the line and not increase our menu prices. So, that's not really an option for us," said Everly.
Workers across the U.S. left their jobs at a record pace in August, with bar, restaurant, and retail staff leading the way.
The Labor Department says it's the most people to leave jobs since December 2000.
Everly says, for now, they plan to work with the loyal core staff they have and hope patrons show kindness until the current trends ease up.