SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Springfield may be bouncing back from the unemployment epidemic, but local businesses are still feeling the pain.

According to a study done by Wallethub, Springfield ranked number 3 among cities with the best change in unemployment rates. Since May of 2022 Springfield overall has had the biggest decrease in unemployment of all 180 cities on the list with a 17.21 percent improvement.

While this is a big win on Springfield’s behalf, local and small businesses like Big Mamas and Café Cusco say they are still feeling the weight of the pandemic.

“We don’t have as many applications coming in weekly as we used to.” Says Joshua Wiggins, a manager at Café Cusco. “We’re used to just having, you know, 2 to 3 a week and now we’re getting like maybe five a month.”

They said though everything is back open they are still having trouble hiring and keeping people.

“There was a time during COVID when we weren’t busy, so I didn’t have to have that many employees. But now I do,” Said Terry Joe, manager at Big Mamas. “I’ve had to ask and put out the social media notice that I need employees.”

One of the owners said he thinks more people are either picking different industries to get into or going into business for themselves.

Springfield isn’t the only Missouri town that saw improvements. Kansas City and St. Louis also saw a drop in unemployment rates.