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With cargo ships stacked offshore and workers disinterested in service work, the logistics industry that fuels shopping is hurting.  

As Southern California employers struggle to fill seasonal jobs at stores, warehouses and other businesses, the lack of available workers may steal some of the joy from holiday shopping sprees. The labor shortage has become a common theme across most service industries. 

It’s perplexing to industry experts who expected a fresh wave of job applicants after the federal government’s $300 weekly unemployment benefit expired in early September. So why aren’t they returning?  

Leslie Tarnacki, Senior Vice President of Global Human Resources at WorkForce Software, said current job seekers aren’t settling for just any open opportunity. 

“A company’s culture, flexible work options, and the overall employee experience is becoming a top priority for people, rather than salary alone,” she says. 

Tarnacki cited Target as an example. The retail chain’s recent announcement that it will offer more flexibility for retail workers by shift swapping is an indicator of how companies are adapting.  

“Today’s candidates know there are a lot of options at their fingertips when they are ready to get a job, and they are taking a wait-and-see approach to find something that checks the boxes for everything they are looking for in a job,” Tarnacki said.