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Why is Everywhere Short Staffed?

March 15, 2023 | Staffing Blog

Since the global pandemic affected the U.S. job market, one question has been burning in the minds of employers across the country: “Why is everywhere short staffed?” While this question has been on most employers’ minds for the last few years, the answer is surprisingly complex.

– If you’re a business owner, you might be struggling to find qualified workers to fill internal roles within your company.

– Externally, if your suppliers, vendors, or partner companies are short staffed, you might also find that the day-to-day operations of your business have slowed due to supply chain issues. 

Understanding why the labor shortage has occurred and considering various solutions can help you make the right choices for your business.

Causes of the U.S. Labor Shortage

Let’s unpack critical issues that have affected staffing levels.

Unemployment Post-Pandemic

Most companies began to notice that they were struggling to find qualified workers near the end of the initial pandemic disruption, and this issue has persisted. There are many reasons why the effects of the pandemic include a staffing shortage.

To begin with, according to the CDC, more than 1 million people died in the United States from COVID-19, and this, by itself, tragically reduced the available workforce. There are also several other practical reasons why the pandemic had such an impact on unemployment.

During the pandemic, stimulus and unemployment payments made it possible for employees to step back and take stock of what they wanted from a career. Many people used this time to change careers, which led to higher shortage rates in entry-level industries such as manufacturing and hospitality.

For example, about 93% of all manufacturing companies are struggling to hire entry-level workers. The rates are similar across the hospitality, food, retail, and healthcare industries.

Workers Aging Out

Some people in key positions before the pandemic were nearing retirement. Because of unemployment payments or concerns regarding their health and safety, people nearing retirement simply decided to retire early, exiting the workforce.

Even people who weren’t near retirement age began to put their health concerns ahead of their career goals. Many felt that returning to in-person work was too much of a health risk, and the money saved from pandemic unemployment payments has allowed many families to remain at home.

These concerns are especially pressing for people who are immunocompromised, have young children, or live with elderly family members. School closures and short staffing issues among daycares or nursing homes have also made it challenging for some people to find care for their family members, making it difficult for them to take a job that requires set hours.

Work-Life Balance

During the pandemic, unemployment rates skyrocketed. Although most people felt pressured to find new work, many used their free time to regain a healthy work-life balance and get back in touch with friends and family.

Now, employees still want to maintain this work-life balance, and they’re often unwilling to return to jobs where they feel they won’t have time to enjoy life outside of work.

Remote Work

Remote work became standard during the pandemic lockdowns, and studies show that productivity actually increased when people were allowed to work from home.

Many people save money on commuting costs by working at home, and they’re often able to focus better in a quieter, more private setting. If companies aren’t offering remote work, many people are unwilling to return to in-office situations, leading to a staffing shortage in some industries.

Staffing Solutions for Your Industry

So, what can you do to address the effects of staffing shortages on your company?

Adapt to Changing Needs

Today’s employees recognize the importance of a good work-life balance, but they’re also eager to reach their career goals.

Implementing new ideas or schedules and making small changes can make employees feel seen and heard, leading to a more beneficial working environment for companies and their staff.

Recognizing talent and offering support for your employee’s career or life goals can also help boost morale, which can decrease attrition.

If the problem is with your vendors or other external parties, consider talking to company management to discuss ways your company can be part of the solution.

Work with a Staffing Agency

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate, which is currently at 3.4% as of February 2023, has mostly stayed the same over the last year.

The BLS also states that the labor force participation rate and the employment-population ratio have consistently remained lower than before the pandemic. However, these statistics don’t mean you won’t be able to find skilled labor for your company.

If you’re struggling to find the right employees, consider working with a staffing agency such as Allegiance Staffing.

We work with companies to select talented, motivated employees to fill a range of positions. We strive to bring together people and companies with the same goals to ensure the workforce can flourish.

Let’s Solve Staffing Shortages in Your Industry

Overcoming the labor shortage can seem like too significant a problem to tackle on your own. However, with fresh ideas and the help of a staffing agency, you can easily find high-quality talent to place in critical roles.

Allegiance Staffing works to match skilled employees to positions they can enjoy and grow in. Because Allegiance provides dedicated staffing solutions for companies in various industries, you can rest assured that you’ll find the right fit for whatever positions you need to fill.

Instead of asking, “Why is everywhere short staffed?” you can start asking, “Where can I find high-quality talent for my roles or recommend to our business partners?” The answer is simple. Contact Allegiance Staffing today to find a solution.