RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Some Raleigh restaurants are bucking the national trend as other places continue to struggle with staffing.
"When I first got here, I was amazed," said Garth Virgo, who started at the Carolina Ale House of Falls of Neuse eight months ago. "I liked the area and how I was greeted. The warmth felt here was really good."
The Ale House is completely staffed up. Not all of their locations are but the district manager said they are in a much better place than they were a year ago.
"We have call outs," said Ryan Coile, district manager of the Central Raleigh region. "We want to treat illnesses very carefully. It's definitely something that happens in our industry but overall, I don't think it's as severe as the numbers were indicating."
US job growth took off in nearly every industry in July despite widespread expectations of a slowdown as the Fed raises interest rates to fight inflation.
Census data from late June to mid-July shows that nearly four million Americans didn't work because they had COVID or were caring for someone with the virus.
In the same period last year, that was only 1.8 million.
"I wish I could say what the secret sauce was but all of a sudden people are showing back up," said Carinne Mossa, director of Human Resources at Sir Walter Coffee and Kitchen.
Mossa said they had to close at 4pm for a while even though they turn into a bar and lounge at night because they didn't have the staff.
Now they are fully staffed and saw a 20% increase in customer volume from June to July.
"We finally feel like we're getting back to where we started," Mossa said.
Garth says he's stayed because of the people at the Ale House. He understands others have stayed out of the industry because they're immunocompromised or they've found other jobs that pay better.
"It must be because of service," he said. "It must be because you love what you do, if you don't love what you do, then it makes no sense."