A store advertises for employees, after coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions were lifted, in Santa Monica, California, June 22, 2021.

Lucy Nicholson | Reuters

Small businesses across the country are struggling to keep employees and attract new staff in a tight labor market which has given workers the upper hand. The latest nonfarm payroll report on Friday showed that the hiring remains hot, with a better-than-expected 850,000 jobs added in June by employers, and wages again ticking higher.

Businesses are being forced to offer higher pay and more benefits to staff up and take advantage of a booming economy post-Covid. And they are competing locally with a slew of major corporations across the U.S. that have been hiking wages and offering enticing bonuses. Amazon is offering a $1,000 sign-on bonus for some warehouse jobs; McDonald’s raised its minimum wage in May and now offers $400 and $500 bonuses for certain positions; Chipotle

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