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The uneven calculus of increased jobs, less unemployment and still too few workers

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You may have seen more “help wanted” signs flapping in the breeze around town lately. Maybe you even noticed reduced business hours at some local stores or restaurants. Or perhaps the wait time in the drive-thru line has been taking longer than it used to.

Around Gillette, and throughout the country, businesses are struggling to hire employees after more than a year of cutbacks, shutdowns and a problematic pandemic. And while diagnosing what’s becoming an employment crisis is simple, explaining it is much more complicated.

Now Hiring

Before enjoying his food, Sam Petry fills out an employment application at Taco John’s along Boxelder Road on Thursday.

Now Hiring

Evelyn Rebaza carries a load of cups and napkins to a drive-thru window at Taco John’s on Boxelder Road on Thursday afternoon.

Now Hiring

Windows double as large-scale hiring advertisements at the McDonald’s at the corner of South Douglas Highway and Camel Drive on Thursday afternoon. Although unemployment rates for the state and Campbell County have dropped considerably in recent months, many businesses report trouble hiring and retaining people willing to work.

Now Hiring

Austin Barelle carries a case of soft drinks to a refrigerator during an afternoon lull at Little Caesars on Camel Drive Thursday.

Now Hiring

Melissa Capiral takes a brief break between preparing food at Taco John’s Thursday afternoon along Boxelder Road in Gillette.

Now Hiring

Bill Goetz helps a customer at the drive-thru of Taco John’s/Good Times Burgers along Boxelder Road Thursday afternoon.

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