Covid, winter illnesses leaving businesses short staffed

The latest Omicron wave, isolation periods and winter illnesses are leaving businesses desperately short staffed.

While people are out and about for school holidays, whether it be a trip to the cinema or travelling, businesses are struggling to fill those gaps.

That’s on top of an already very tight labour market and unemployment rate of 3.2%.

The Employers and Manufacturers Association surveyed 335 businesses and found all of them, 100%, had vacancies they were struggling to fill. Almost 40% had roles they advertised for more than six months.

“People are sick, they are isolating, not available to work, I think once we get past those sorts of pressures, things will recover a bit,” Waikato University’s Associate Professor in Economics Michael Cameron told 1News.

Ash Dutt from Howick’s Majestic Tea Bar says she’s working seven days a week to keep the doors open. This week alone she has two staff sick with Covid.

“Words can’t describe how hard it is," she said.

She’s had a vacancy for a store manager for some time, but recently had three applications.

So it means it’s a good time for workers looking for more hours, more pay or extra shifts.