Businesses struggle to fill millions of job openings

There are 8.1 million job openings across the U.S. -- a 20-year high -- as the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. Jamie Yuccas takes a look.

Video Transcript

NORAH O'DONNELL: Well, tonight, help-wanted signs are up from coast to coast as America emerges from COVID shutdowns. But there are few takers as millions of jobs go unfilled. Well, we asked CBS's Jamie Yuccas to find out why.

JAMIE YUCCAS: The customers are starting to come back to Du-par's diner, but owner Francis Tario says the people who serve them are not. Tario struggled to stay open during the early days of the pandemic, laying off 100 employees. Now that things are improving, she's trying to hire her workers back, but can't fill the jobs.

- We are so understaffed that it's unbelievable.

FRANCIS TARIO: It's been a tough ride. It's been difficult.

JAMIE YUCCAS: Signs of the times are posted across the country. There are 8.1 million jobs available, a 20-year high.

LEO FELER: We have very generous unemployment insurance right now, and what that means is that people have the ability to wait for the right job to come along.

JAMIE YUCCAS: For more than a year, the federal government has offered an extra $300 a week on top of state unemployment. At least 19 states are ending that benefit. Still, many restaurant servers make just $2.13 an hour plus tips, not enough to cover child care or transportation, not worth exposure to COVID.

LEO FELER: Men gained jobs, women did not. Why would this be different between men and women? And it's that women have this greater responsibility for child caring and for home schooling, and so that inhibits them from being able to go out and get jobs. .

FRANCIS TARIO: I'm sure that the people that want to will come, but I'm not sure it's time yet.

JAMIE YUCCAS: To return to the pre-pandemic economy, 800,000 more need to be back at work every month. Jamie Yuccas, CBS News, Los Angeles.