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'If unemployment is down, where are the people working?' Louisville small business still struggles with staffing

Gov. Andy Beshear announced the number of Kentuckians employed in December increased by 8,105 while the number of unemployed decreased by 2,854.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday that unemployment is down and employment is up in Kentucky.

He said the number of Kentuckians employed in December increased by 8,105 while the number of unemployed decreased by 2,854.

"It continues to show really good movement and a vibrant rebound from the impacts of COVID-19,” Beshear said.

However, WHAS11 talked to one small business in Louisville that is still struggling to stay afloat.

"If unemployment is down, where are the people working,” William McCarthern asked. He’s the owner and head chef of the new downtown restaurant called Huge Impact.

He just opened his Louisville location in October 2021. McCarthern’s been in business in Indianapolis for six years.

“Finding a location was the easy part," McCathern said. “Finding the employees was probably the hardest part for me."

He said between failed zoom interviews, one person catching COVID and another not showing up to work, he was forced from the kitchen during the grand opening.

McCathern said it's gotten easier. He now has seven employees, himself included. However, it's not as many as he'd like to create a seamless dining experience.

“It'll be worth it, you just have to be dedicated,” McCathern said. “Don't let it get you down. I have more than just my family. I have my employee's families as well, so as long as they stick it out with me, I'm going to make sure they're taken care of no matter what I have to do."

McCathern said he advertises on social media often, and applications are available online, but he knows money is important. A small business like his can't offer as much as others.

"You can't pay out $20 or $30 dollars like some of these big companies do,” McCathern said.

As for some of those big companies in Louisville, UPS said it hired thousands of people in December, which is the company's peak season.

GE Appliances said it made a $450 million investment in October, and plans to create about a thousand jobs over the next few years. The company’s getting started with that on Saturday with a large-scale job fair, offering a $2,000 sign-on bonus.

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