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New workforce survey highlights issues and solutions for employers during ongoing labor shortage

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Posted at 5:00 PM, Feb 09, 2022

CLEVELAND — New results from an area survey gives a closer look at how the ongoing labor shortage is impacting employers across our region.

In December, News 5 previewed how the regional economic organization Fund For Our Economic Future began collecting thousands of responses as part of a survey to learn more about what’s changed with the hiring situation in the area and what’s working going forward.

“I think what will be the most interesting is who thinks this is temporary and who thinks this is permanent,” Fund for Our Economic Future President Bethia Burke said.

Early results, which focus on the labor shortage from the perspective of employers, confirm the job market remains a “workers market,” with workers in demand and employers still struggling to hire.

Nearly 80% of the more than 750 employers who responded to the survey said they are experiencing a talent shortage.

The hardest demographic to attract and retain, according to the survey, is those between 18 and 30 years old.

“I think this reinforces that this is a long-term thing we need to pay attention to,” Burke added. “18-30-year-olds are workers now and are going to be workers in the future. Rethinking and reshaping how we think about work is important as we connect with that age demographic.”

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows in Ohio, about 2.6% of the workforce quit every month in 2021, which amounts to almost 500,000.

When it comes to competing for new talent or retaining employees, the study shows most employers used increasing wages as their primary tactic. But the report adds some employers are also making more of an effort to promote within and offer training and other growth opportunities.

“I think the biggest surprise was the degree in which employers are thinking about what beyond wages matter to people,” Burke explained. “We know wages really matter, and what else employers are already doing or interested in doing or interested in trying to make work environments better for people.”

The second part of that survey, focused on the labor force from an employee’s point of view, is likely due out in March.

To read results from the survey, click here.