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Retailer Official Urges Creativity To Overcome Worker Shortage


South Dakota businesses are suffering a new problem as the pandemic winds down: worker shortages. 

A top retail official says employers should think creatively to avoid business disruptions. 

Nathan Sanderson is the executive director of the South Dakota Retailers Association. He says if businesses don’t have workers, they can’t serve their customers.

“Some type of restaurants that have drive-through locations have their dining areas closed," Sanderson says. "Why is that? Well, I’ve talked to a lot of businesses, and they say, 'because we can’t find the six more workers we need in order to reopen our dining area.' That’s the kind of thing we’re hearing from businesses all across South Dakota.” 

Sanderson says businesses have to make themselves attractive to potential workers. 

“But it’s got to be the kind of things that workers find valuable beyond just pay -- flexibility to take care of things at home or with their children, additional paid time off, the ability to work certain hours of the day as opposed to other hours of the day.” 

The South Dakota Department of Labor says there are 23,000 job openings in the state. The unemployment rate is 2.9 percent.

Nathan Sanderson