Service industry workers hard to find, local businesses say

While the unemployment rate in St. Charles Parish holds steady at the lowest number in years, local business owners and managers say they continue to have trouble finding people to work at their establishments.

Recent data from the Louisiana Department of Labor shows that the unemployment rate for the month of January 2023 was 3.2 percent. The rate was identical to 2022’s overall unemployment rate in the parish.

That percentage dropped a miniscule amount to 3.1 percent in February.

In contrast, the overall unemployment rate in St. Charles Parish for 2019 was 4.1 percent. Unemployment in the parish climbed to 8.4 percent in 2020, and in 2021 the rate dropped to 5.5 percent.

Ramzi Emad, who manages Royal Greek & Lebanese Café in Destrehan, said he is in desperate need of employees at his eatery.

“No one is coming in to submit applications,” he said. “We are having difficulty finding employees in the area and we have lots of business.”

Katie Hymel, the chef and owner Honeydoux Cafe and Bakery, said recruiting employees for her business has been a struggle since COVID and Hurricane Ida.

“I think overall our world has changed and it is harder to get and retain employees in general now,” she said.

Taste of Tokyo Destrehan Manager April Ball said finding quality servers and cooks has also been an issue at her restaurant.

“We tend to stay pretty busy, and finding someone that can keep up with the pace has been very difficult,” she said.


About Monique Roth 919 Articles
Roth has both her undergraduate and graduate degree in journalism, which she has utilized in the past as an instructor at Southeastern Louisiana University and a reporter at various newspapers and online publications. She grew up in LaPlace, where she currently resides with her husband and three daughters.

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