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Friday, June 15, 2018

Despite record high confidence, Main Street businesses can't find the workers they need

Mike Fredrich shows off unmanned presses in his Manitowoc, Wisconsin, company. They're ready to start production at MCM Composites, a 55-person enterprise that makes custom thermoset molding.

The only problem? Fredrich has no one to operate them.

"These tools are heated to 300 degrees," he said. "But we're not running them. Had we had the people for the first shift, we could have been running this all day. But we don't, so they sit here heated, ready to go, with no action."

"There are no workers, but there's a huge demand. The economy has picked up, but the market is so thin, that we just can't find them. We've gone to extraordinary means to find people that will actually work, including going to the local county jail and recruiting people to work from inside the jail," Fredrich said.

"Finding the right person for the job is always a challenge, but obviously in a tighter market like this, it becomes far more difficult," said Raymond Keating, chief economist at the nonpartisan Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. "It's a function of a few things — the labor participation rate is fairly low for an economic recovery expansion period. So there's room for people to come back into the labor force. And, as long as economic growth continues, which we want to happen, we are going to have to deal with some tight labor markets."



Anonymous said...

Hire immigrants, they have a better work ethic than a lot of the born here's.

Anonymous said...

A large part of the problem, is you can't just go into a business and apply and get hired like we used to. My first job, I filled out an application and was hired the next day. Now, 45 years later, Almost all want you to apply online. Go thru back ground checks, drug tests, many want lie detector tests. Making it something good people just don't want to mess with. I've seen places all over Salisbury with "Help Wanted " signs in front of buildings or in windows. But just try to apply. It's a royal pain in the butt.