BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – Higher gas, food, cars, and rent, are making it tougher for families to survive.

Even though employers are paying bigger salaries, paychecks are not keeping up with inflation. Employers are having to get creative and competitive to attract workers for their job openings.

Many businesses are preparing for what is traditionally their busiest season.

“We are starting our spring and summer season when it is our busiest time, so we will be looking for a lot of seasonal help at the moment,” Buffalo Rock Employee Specialist Trish Costin said. 

Costin said they are recruiting driver assistants, warehouse support, and employees to work in retail grocery stores.

“We are seeing a lot of unique things because employers are really having to compete for these workers right now,” CareerSource Gulf Coast Communications manager Becky Samarripa said.

Besides job fairs and wage increases, Buffalo Rock also added incentives for future employees, including benefits and a $1250 bonus.

“Depending on which department you work in, whether it’s retail or operations, there are other incentives as well,” Costin said.

Based on digital “Help wanted” ads, CareerSource’s current data shows over 17% more employers have needed help since the start of the pandemic.

“Based on the most recent data we have is 1,891 and a year before that is 1,614,” Samarripa said.

Buffalo Rock is just one of the many companies searching for employees. Other industries are for construction, healthcare, truck drivers, maintenance, and repair jobs.

“Especially leisure and hospitality, they are becoming year-round hiring here because we are now a year-round vacation destination,” Samarippa said.

She said her studies show job market trends returning to pre-pandemic levels within the next few months.

If you are worried about having a gap in employment, CareerSource Gulf Coast said many companies expect that due to COVID-19.

For more information on seasonal and regular positions, visit the CareerSource website.