The Career Expo spokesman gives some reasons for the labor shortage


“There is more jobs than job seekerssaid Richard Owens, director of jobs and family services, at the Ohio Means Jobs Career Expo recently held at Wayne College.

There are various reasons people have left the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many are choosing not to return. Before the pandemic, many workers were women, and they stopped working to look after their children while the world was on lockdown.

“If you factor in the annual cost of childcare,” Owens said, “you’re going to use up about $8,000 of your income.”

Rising gas prices:Rising gas prices = increasing budgets for area schools already facing driver shortages

Childcare affects fewer workers

He explained that the starting requirements for the child care allowance are so low and the starting wages are so high that people simply do not qualify for the child care allowance. Another limiting factor is the availability of childcare providers at home.

“In Wayne County, we used to have about two dozen home (childcare) providers,” he said. “We’re currently at about six.”

In a recent conversation with Lt. Governor Jon Husted said Owens said Husted explained that there are about three jobs available to each person on the Ohio Means Jobs unemployment database that pay more than $50,000 a year and that there are almost 250,000 jobs available overall.

The labor shortage is not going away anytime soon

According to John Trott, executive director of the Greater Ohio Workforce Board, labor shortages are not going away anytime soon.

“It’s better to talk about a generational problem,” Trott said during a presentation at the fair. “What you are witnessing is a global trend.”

According to Trott, the lack of employees has been a problem for years.

Trott discussed some of the pre-pandemic issues affecting labor shortages, including:

  • Smaller family sizes
  • Slower population growth
  • Less male labor force participation
  • Older, financially stable people choose to retire

‘Gigs’ and ‘side hustles’ are popular

Non-traditional work, known as “gigs” or “side hustles,” has become very attractive to those with the skills and desire for a more flexible work-life balance.

“The great resignation resonates with the people,” said Trott. “And the data confirms it. In 2021, the number of people who gave up their jobs was very high. These aren’t people losing their jobs; These are people who just stopped working. The Department of Labor started tracking these numbers 20 years ago and it’s the highest number we’ve ever seen.”

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