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Las Vegas businesses, now without COVID-19 restrictions, struggle to find willing workers

Las Vegas, Nevada, open at 100% capacity as of June 1
These are photos of the Las Vegas strip at Flamingo and Las Vegas Boulevard as seen in Jan. 2021
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Las Vegas strip view
Posted at 6:36 PM, Jun 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 02:50:24-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Las Vegas and Nevada are now open for business without capacity limits or social distancing requirements but a pandemic problem persists and finding willing workers to apply for open positions remains a struggle.

For months, small and large businesses have reported the number of willing applicants for open jobs has been very low.

Las Vegas has seen a large increase in visitation in the past several months and that trend is expected to increase, according to economists.

"Now we have the challenge of getting new employees, we have plenty of positions open if people are looking for a great place to work. It's a great team to work for," said Adam Wiesberg, general manager of El Cortez Hotel & Casino in downtown Las Vegas.

RELATED: El Cortez hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas turns pandemic pause into renovation opportunity

The El Cortez Hotel & Casino has several open jobs currently posted from apprentice bartenders to valet drivers.

"Our employees and our guests were so supportive of us getting through this together, we had our complaints and we had our issues, but the pride I have in the El Cortez team these employees, and we were fortunate enough to be able to keep pretty much all of our employees employed...now we have the challenge of getting new employees," said Wiesberg.

Part of the problem, business owners and recruiters say, is the enhanced unemployment benefit provided by the United States government.

Other experts say some are staying out of the workforce for childcare reasons, or out of concern for the pandemic which is still resulting in new cases, breakthrough cases, and even deaths.

There's also a very competitive labor market with companies trying to attract top talent.

Resorts World is set to open on June 24. The mega-resort needs to fill approximately 6,000 positions.

RELATED: More than 130K people have applied for Resorts World's 6K new jobs so far, hotel-casino says

On Wednesday, authorities revealed more than 130,000 people had applied.

Only 350 have been hired before and opening night is about three weeks away.

RELATED: SkinnyFATS raises hourly pay to $20 for open local positions

One company, SkinnyFATS, offered new employees $20 per hour, which is well above both Nevada's minimum wage and the federal minimum wage.

DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE | Joe Bartels digs deeper in the Daily Debrief:

Daily Debrief: El Cortez struggles to find workers