GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.
Brown Cycles is where you can ring the bells for free and where the struggle continues to find the help to sell them. Owner, Chris Brown, says, “Something’s wrong. I keep moving my sign around. Make it big. Make it small. Put it on the door. Put it on the window, thinking they’re just not seeing it.”
Since May 5th there are close to 80,000 available jobs in the state, but restaurants, hotels and this bike shop are still hurting for new hires. Curtis Englehart, the Mesa County Workforce Center director says, “Right now, the unemployment rate sits at 7.2% which is extremely high.”
16.9 million people were receiving unemployment during the week of April 24th, 700,000 more than the previous week, according to the Associated Press, but not according to business owners who’ve biked around the block. “There’s a lot of people that are hurting and want people to work, and there’s a lot of people that claim to be out of jobs, but I don’t believe it,” said Brown. “It’s been very interesting as we start to come out of this pandemic. We’re in uncharted territories a little bit here with the additional $300 per week,” said Englehart.
A lot of people struggle to ride unicycles just like a lot of businesses like this one are struggling to hire employees. “I’ve had that sign on my door for about ten months for help wanted. We’re looking for a service manager, but almost zero applicants,” said Brown.
That’s why 12 states are cutting weekly unemployment benefits they claim are stopping people from working because they’d rather claim a benefit check than a payroll check. 12 states are on that list, but not Colorado. Englehart says, “They’re receiving the $300 stipend plus, whatever their normal unemployment benefits would be. So, you’re looking at some individuals who can receive up to $4,000 a month.”
Englehart says the pay rate is based off what you made before you were laid off, but now, the Colorado Department of Labor has adopted a new rule if you don’t start the search, and the big guy is backing it. President Biden says, “Anyone collecting unemployment who is offered a suitable job must take the job or lose their unemployment benefits.”
Chris with Brown Cycles says he usually has seven employees but now, only has two and he starts off at $15 an hour.
Curtis with the Workforce Center says if you’re on unemployment you have to be able, available, and actively seeking employment to keep your benefits.
For more information on applying to Brown Cycles and Bike Shop, or how to ride a unicycle, click here.