(WXYZ) — Snelling Staffing Services works with manufacturing companies, and before the pandemic, they received more than 100 job applications a week.
But now, it's a whole different story.
"We are scheduling approximately 20-30 interviews per week and experiencing a 90 percent no-show rate to those interviews," said Gail Smith, staffing manager at Snelling Staffing Solutions.
Job search requirements put in place last week for those receiving unemployment hasn't seemed to make a difference yet.
"As a matter of fact, last week's numbers were down from the week before that," said Gail.
Karen Gray, VP Human Resources at Matrix Human Services, said we may not see the impact quite yet.
“It is really too early to tell if the difference in unemployment insurance requirements has made a difference in the increase of candidates applying. It just went into effect June 1st,” said Karen.
So what is going on?
"I hate when it’s like, 'everywhere is hiring, everywhere is hiring,' it's like apparently they’re not," said Nicole, a former waitress.
Nicole said she has 20 years of experience as a waitress.
"Me being an experienced server, when I do go into a job and apply and go through the interview, it’s like ‘Oh, we’ll call you back’ and they never do. It’s like why do you advertise … you need people but you’re not hiring the experienced," asked Nicole.
When asked if she would consider a job in a different industry, Nicole said it comes down to pay.
"I’m used to making 20 or 30 dollars an hour I’m not going to go into another industry making 15 13 , no!" she said.
According to a Michigan Statewide Voter Survey, 4.2% of people employed before the pandemic have not returned to the workforce, of that group more than 20% are over the age of 50.
Experts say an aging workforce is contributing to the worker shortage.
"Of the people who remain in the workforce, they see there is more competition, perhaps they can command a higher price, perhaps they can be a little choosier ... once that awareness is there, it’s hard for that to just be erased," said Anita Williams Woolley, organizational behavior expert with Carnegie Mellon University.
Snelling said their clients raised entry-level pay for manufacturing jobs from the pre-pandemic rate of $12 - $13 an hour.
"Now they are averaging $15, $16, $17, $18 an hour and it hasn’t made a difference at all," said Kim Pagel, branch manager with Snelling Staffing Services.
Kim and Gail added there is also a missing link in Michigan's Unemployment payment requirements.
"We could offer them three, four or five different opportunities, good-paying jobs for their experience and they say 'no' and we have no way of telling the state that they did say no," said Pagel.
Will the worker shortage be fixed when the extra $300 unemployment benefit stops? Experts aren’t so sure.
"It's not necessarily the case that these problems are just going to go away," said Anita.
Employers need to get creative to woo and retain employees.
"As more organizations get good at this, it is going to separate those willing to get creative from those that aren’t," Anita said.