COLUMBUS, Ohio — In almost every business across the state, now hiring signs are on the windows looking for anyone looking to fill shifts. Industries are forced to get creative to compete, with increased wages and incentives just to get potential employees to apply.
A strain on the workforce leads to a strain on the supply chain.
“We hear about inflation; we hear about supply chain problems. One of the big reasons is a lack of a workforce and think about this, if you're not producing enough goods or services, then they become rare,” said Ohio Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted “And when they become rare, they become more expensive. And when they become more expensive without the corresponding productivity. That's where you get inflation.”
Husted said Ohio has hit two records — the most total jobs available and positions with salaries over $50,000 a year.
As of Monday, there are more than 269,287 total jobs available in the state, 150,284 have a salary above $50,000 and 5,181 internships open, according to Ohio Means Jobs website.
Employers are turning to recruitment measures they haven’t considered before, says Husted.
“They're reaching into the high schools and, literally doing, earn-to-learn projects with high schools and colleges. They’re trying to bring anybody who wants to work into the workforce in really nontraditional ways. They’re also turning to people who are maybe second chance employment, maybe somebody who had committed a crime in the past or had a drug addiction and want to reintegrate themselves into productive function or productive roles in society,” said Husted.
Unlike any time in recent history, the job market is dictated by the employee. It’s something Husted has never seen before in his years of economic development and is afraid some workers won’t be coming back.
“We also have this rare phenomenon right now, where a lot of people maybe were at the Baby Boom age where they retired, they left the workforce and they're not coming back” said Husted. “We have some moms who maybe said, ‘Hey, this lifestyle that I was living, maybe dad's too, is not good for me anymore, we've decided to do with less and have a better quality of life at home.’ They're not coming back to the workforce, you have situations where people maybe who were living paycheck to paycheck aren't doing that anymore, or not taking additional hours, maybe not taking jobs right now, because they don't feel the cash crunch.”
This leaves Ohio with more jobs created than finding people to fill roles.
The Office of the Lieutenant Governor says there are programs in the state that train low income, partially or completely unemployed Ohioans at no cost to them. Those credentials can be earned in a matter of weeks.
Ohio Means Jobs and the Department of Jobs and Family Services are looking beyond the borders, advertising in other states to bring back students who went to school in the state and moved on, or workers on the other side of the state lines.