Tennessee Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville) recently addressed concerns surrounding the large amount of businesses seeking people to work for them.

According to Bell, the amount of available positions across the State of Tennessee is great.

“I have a son getting out of the Air Force and he will be coming home for a few weeks before he gets a civil job in his career field that could take him away from here and just looking at indeed.com he said there were 3,000 jobs listed within 25 miles of the Athens area that consists of everything from high paying jobs to working at the local fast food restaurant,” Bell said. “Those are just the jobs that are listed on the website, which don’t count others that could be posted elsewhere.”

Bell worries about one particular topic that could further increase the number of open positions in every industry.

“The vaccine mandate through CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), which is the government agency that oversees Medicare and Medicaid, is going to exacerbate this problem and when this mandate goes into place you will see health care workers walk off the floor of the job and I put that blame on (President Joe) Biden,” Bell expressed. “Thank goodness the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has put a hold on the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) mandate, which affects all of our businesses with 100 employees or more and by reading their opinion they were very emphatic and I seriously doubt with what they said that Biden’s vaccine mandate withstands constitutional scrutiny.”

He believes that it will just further complicate the problems that have been seen with restaurants and more.

“It is a problem that everybody is seeing across the board, across the state and across the country,” he noted. “I hope this is temporary but I am not optimistic about it because we have an aging workforce and we don’t have enough workers to replace those people.”

Bell stated the supply chain issues the country has faced recently has caused further problems.

“I have two friends, one a state senator and one a House member, who own trucking companies and they were telling me that we are 80,000 truck drivers short right now across the county,” Bell said. “That is just part of this labor shortage that we are seeing, but it is directly affecting how people get goods delivered to grocery stores, to big box stores, furniture stores and more. We may see shortages in normal items that we have not seen in a long time because they are trying to get so many goods into stores for the Christmas shopping season.”

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