For the past year, many places have been beset by a nationwide shortage of workers, which has hit record levels in some areas.
Several states performed better than the others in the nationwide labor deficit, according to a piece on WBOY.com. According to Career Cloud rankings, West Virginia was in the center of the states five months ago, with a 5% unemployment rate. According to the study, higher-paying jobs had fewer open opportunities than lower-paying and minimum-wage jobs, implying that workers were less inclined to work for lower pay.
Nationwide labor shortage
The nationwide labor shortage was caused by a variety of factors, the majority of which can be traced back to the epidemic. Millions of people who were eligible for retirement but were still working planned to quit during the epidemic, according to 247wallst.com. With the baby boomers reaching retirement age, it was a significant cohort that exited the workforce, leaving numerous open positions.
Another aspect is that over 1 million school-aged youngsters were forced to leave the labor due to the pandemic. There was fewer than 62 percent of workers who were 16 or older but still in school. That low of a number hasn’t been seen since 1977.
According to the website, there were nearly 2 million fewer working-age immigrants in the country.
They claimed that during the peak of the shortage of labor in November 2021, 55,000 jobs in West Virginia were unfilled, accounting for 7.4% of all jobs in the state.
In 2021, West Virginia Chamber of Commerce president Steve Roberts was reported by wvnews.com as claiming that a “very nice piece of business for West Virginia” was looking to come to the state and hire in-state workers. However, after multiple phone calls, Roberts stated that bringing on the extra business was not attainable given the current workforce’s stress. According to the article, businesses reporting unfilled job vacancies reached new highs.
Several causes, according to Roberts, contribute to the shortfall. One of them, he explained, was an aging workforce. We were experiencing unprecedented numbers of retirements due to the baby boomers’ huge contribution to the population and workforce.
He also noted that, due to the low pace of immigration into the United States in previous years, many such positions remained unfilled. Roberts urged that limited immigration regulations be investigated so that immigrants can contribute to the workforce.
Senator Joe Manchin recently stated that we need a fair immigration policy that permits people to work in the United States.
During the labor shortage, several companies attempted to entice new employees by offering incentives including sign-on bonuses. One local company, Conagra Foods, paid a six-month sign-on bonus to employees who stayed for at least six months.
Jumpstart Program Will Offer A One-time $1,500 Payout
Governor Jim Justice recently revealed the Jumpstart Program, which will provide a one-time $1,500 payout to those in the state who are currently getting unemployment benefits, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) but want to return to work.
This, on the other hand, drew a lot of criticism.
However, the unemployment rate in West Virginia has declined from 5% to 3.2 percent in the recent five months, as of February 2022. The total unemployment rate in the United States is 3.8 percent. Those figures are comparable to the state’s situation in 2017.