I get asked this all the time, and to be blunt, the employee shortage is more than a little concerning, but I’m very optimistic about more candidates becoming available in the very near future when Oregon’s Extended Benefits program ends September 4th.
As it stands, finding employees continues to be the single greatest challenge for most every business here in Tualatin, as well as across the nation. This is not limited to any one sector, like the service industry, the effects are being felt across all spectrums, all income levels, all demographics and it’s putting a major damper on productivity. Employers are competing against more than a year of extended unemployment benefit checks, hyper-aggressive hiring by the ever-expanding Amazon (and other major names), and a new generation of workers who are seemingly disinterested in working despite exorbitant wages for little to no experience.
This issue continues to baffle so many of us in business. We see relatively easy, simple, entry-level jobs at $18+/hour with no takers. We have clients with amazing businesses that are willing to train, teach a new trade, lower standards for drug and background checks, and still so few bites.
This causes immense frustration among our many clients who keep upping wages, offering incentives, while simultaneously lowering their standards for new hires. Clients have great demand for their goods and services but can’t get product out the door because of our intense labor shortage.
This is not a small problem. Goods aren’t being shipped, restaurants aren’t being opened, those who do work are often being overworked, and yet there seems to be no urgency for so many to get jobs and fill these hundreds of open positions in Tualatin and beyond.
My expectation is that when the unemployment windfall ends for tens of thousands of perfectly employable people who are currently not working, the problem will begin to correct itself, which would solve so many of our manufacturer’s problems.
The good news is that there’s never been a better time to enter the job market. Ridiculously high wages, sign-on bonuses, an amazing selection of jobs, and shifts all combine to create the perfect scenario for the new employee as well as the worker who wishes to retool and find a new trade. If there’s ever been an employee’s market, this is it!
I have high hopes that workers will return to the workforce in the coming months, filling many of the hundreds of open positions in Tualatin.
Let’s cross our fingers, our economy is depending on it!