Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Quality Worker Woes

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Quality Worker Woes

Article excerpt

This Christmas season will find many consumers in a battle for expeditious service as store owners desperately attempt to hire quality staff during rapid economic growth.

The indication of an insufficient employment surplus is everywhere -- from nearly every grocery store, restaurant, convenience store and discount shop. The task of hiring low-skilled, entry-level workers has shifted from an employers market to an overwhelming applicant- driven market.

As businesses become busier this holiday season, competition will be fierce to get what few quality workers are available in the job market. The last unemployment data put the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) at 2.8 percent while the national average remains at 5 percent. We have only begun to see the unemployment rate continue its dive to an unbelievable low. By the year end we could see 2 percent unemployment in the Oklahoma City MSA. Where does that leave small businesses that are relying on the upcoming Christmas season? Consumers should expect longer lines and lengthy waits this season as business owners furiously work through the shortage of employees. Settling for less Though the unemployment will most likely continue to plummet, it is not a shortage of applications that are plaguing employers -- rather a shortage of worthy applicants. Most business managers would agree that the few applications coming in do not qualify for employment because of one reason -- attitude. The attitude of the majority of the leftover labor pool is one of distaste. Nevertheless, many employers will find it necessary to settle for inefficient labor with feeble attitudes. The solution to finding the preferred wage earners this holiday season is not easily found. Even with the new minimum wage increase, employers are not finding the quality help they need to operate efficiently. Although hesitant to do so, some employers may raise their wage scales even higher in hopes of attracting quality workers from other employers. …

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