As businesses are short-staffed, New Mexico offers back to work incentives

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LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) — Incentives are on the way for unemployed New Mexicans. As part of the state’s new return-to-work support payment program, unemployed New Mexicans that are receiving unemployment benefits have until July 31 to find a job and must stay employed through Aug. 28 to receive a financial incentive.

The return to work payment is being offered by the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions. The money is coming from the American Rescue Plan Act funds.

“If we can make it even just one degree easier for someone to get back to work, helping offset transition costs, then we’ve got to do that – and we can and we will,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said earlier in July.

The sooner you find a job and report it to NMDWS, the more money you will be eligible for. Below are the eligible amounts.

  • July 4 – $1,000
  • July 11 – $800
  • July 18 – $600
  • July 25- $400

The owner of La Posta De Mesilla, a restaurant in Las Cruces, says he is in need of 40 employees but hasn’t seen much of a change since the announcement of the incentive program.

“We had four new hires in the last couple of weeks, they had limited availability. No indication that the new incentive program might have caused them to give us a call,” said Tom Hutchinson, owner of La Posta De Mesilla.

Beginning this week the restaurant will limit days of operation from seven days a week to six as he says staff is overworked.

“Not easy for us to do, but my existing staff is getting burnt out pretty good,” said Hutchinson. “Through Labor Day, which I think we might start to see a turn when the $300 a week enhancement retires.”

One employee of La Posta, Theresa Acosta, has been with the restaurant for 22 years and interviews applicants.

“I would have hoped we would have seen people coming in to apply but were still not seeing that increase,” said Acosta. “I have anywhere from 20 to 30 interviews a week or set them up at least. I will probably have maybe five come in, hire a couple of them and then they just don’t show up to work.”

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