Labor Shortage in Connecticut Deemed a Crisis

Connecticut’s labor force is shrinking while the number of available jobs continues to rise, one labor expert said.

Chris DiPentima, who serves as president and chief executive officer of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, said the state’s labor situation has entered crisis mode.

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State Board of Education Urges Michigan Legislature to Solve Teacher Shortage

Michigan’s State Board of Education adopted a resolution supporting the recruitment and retention recommendations issued by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE).

“The state legislature has the responsibility to help rebuild the teaching profession in Michigan,” State Board of Education President Dr. Casandra Ulbrich said in a statement. “They have an opportunity to make a real difference for current and future educators.”

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Commentary: Five Facts About the U.S. Truck Driver Shortage

The Big Insight: Regulatory changes could help alleviate a trucker shortage making our supply chain problems worse.

There are many causes of the ongoing supply chain slowdowns impacting the U.S., but one of them is a shortage of truckers, who move the bulk of goods to stores and consumers. Many jobs are being posted, but onerous certification and age requirements are preventing some of them from being filled.

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Labor Shortage, Supply Chain, Inflation Hurting Ohio Small Businesses

Small businesses across Ohio find themselves in the middle of what one of the leading advocates in the nation calls a perfect storm of issues, causing continued concern and struggles.

A new survey from the Ohio branch of the National Federation of Independent Business shows labor issues, supply chain problems and inflation create significant hurdles as mom-and-pop businesses around the state continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Vaccine Mandate Ruling Could Hurt Supply Chain, Amplify Labor Shortage in Virginia

A U.S. court of appeals ruling that will allow the federal government to impose a vaccine mandate on businesses could hurt the supply chain and amplify the labor shortage in Virginia and nationwide, according to a business group fighting against the rule.

An appeals court ruled Friday the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is allowed to enforce its vaccine mandate. The rule requires any business with 100 or more workers force every employee to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or be subject to a test every week. The National Federation of Independent Business and several other groups have filed lawsuits against the rule and plan to take the fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Florida Jobs Report Shows Growth, Unemployment Rate Continuing to Drop

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) released the November jobs report along with labor force statistics, and the unemployment rate in Florida dropped to 4.5 percent. Compared to one year ago, the rate was a 5.4 percent.

State officials say the continued drop is more indication the “open for business” policies in Florida have kept Florida’s economy recovering from the pandemic-induced economic slow-down.

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More Ohio Employers Need In-Demand, Critical Jobs Filled

The need for Ohio businesses to fill job openings stretches beyond entry-level or relatively low-paying positions and more employers have turned to a state-run database created two years ago to help.

More than 13% more Ohio employers included needs on TopJobs.Ohio.gov than the state’s previous response rate. The website reflects current workforce needs for in-demand and critical jobs across the state, according to Gov. Mike DeWine.

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Child Tax Credit Is Driving Americans Toward Entrepreneurship, Has Little Effect on Workforce

A new study suggests that the child tax credit (CTC) is not reducing overall employment nationwide but is driving some low and middle-income parents away from their private sector jobs and toward self-employment.

The study, led by researchers at the Washington University in St. Louis’ Social Policy Institute and Appalachian State University and provided exclusively to the Daily Caller News Foundation, found that the monthly payments had barely any impact on the job market whatsoever, contradicting concerns that the tax credits would worsen the labor shortage. It also found that adults were far less likely to list child care as a reason for unemployment, with the share of people saying so dropping from 26% to below 20% once they began receiving the payments.

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Commentary: I Am Challenging the Vaccine Mandate to Protect My Workers’ Jobs

Blue Collar Worker

The Biden administration has finally published its anticipated ultimatum threatening companies like mine with severe fines and penalties for not firing any employee who declines to be vaccinated against or submit to invasive weekly testing for COVID-19. The new rule promulgated by the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under the guise of workplace safety may well bankrupt the business my father founded. So, as the CEO of the Phillips Manufacturing & Tower Company, I am joining with The Buckeye Institute to challenge OSHA’s vaccine mandate in court. Here’s why.

Phillips is a 54-year-old company based in Shelby, Ohio, that manufactures specialty welded steel tubing for automotive, appliance, and construction industries. OSHA’s emergency rule applies to companies with 100 or more employees — at our Shelby Welded Tube facility, we employ 104 people. As a family-owned business I take the health of my workers seriously — they are my neighbors and my friends. When I heard of the mandate, we conducted a survey of our workers to see what the impacts would be. It revealed that 28 Phillips employees are fully vaccinated, while antibody testing conducted at company expense found that another 16 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies and likely possess natural immunity. At least 47 employees have indicated that they have not and will not be vaccinated. Seventeen of those 47 unvaccinated workers said that they would quit or be fired before complying with the vaccine or testing mandate. Those are 17 skilled workers that Phillips cannot afford to lose.

Perhaps the Biden administration remains unaware of the labor shortage currently plaguing the U.S. labor market generally and industrial manufacturing especially. Like many companies, Phillips is already understaffed, with seven job openings we have been unable to fill. Employees already work overtime to keep pace with customer demand, working 10-hour shifts, six days a week on average. Firing 17 veteran members of the Phillips team certainly won’t help.

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A Record Number of Workers Quit Their Jobs in September as Labor Shortage Worsens

A record 4.4 million people quit their jobs in September, and job openings remained near a record high as labor shortages continue throughout the country.

Roughly 3.0% of U.S. workers left their jobs in September, a jump from August, when 4.3 million people left the workforce, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report released Friday. The number of job openings remained near its August level of 10.4 million.

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Phoenix Police Force Short Dozens of Officers Below Minimum Levels

Arizona’s capital is fighting to recruit new police officers as its current patrol force is more than four dozen officers short of the bare minimum.

Officers with the Phoenix Police Department reported their monthly recruitment and staffing work to the city council’s Public Safety and Justice Subcommittee on Wednesday morning. 

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Michigan Businesses Brace for Biden’s Vaccine Mandate

Michigan businesses are scrambling to handle President Joe Biden’s Jan. 4 national vaccine mandate for private businesses exceeding 100 workers.

Michigan Occupational Safety Health Administration (MIOSHA) Director Bart Pickelman told The Center Square in an email that starting Nov. 5, federal OSHA issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace. An ETS summary is here.

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Day Cares Experience a Rush of Inquiries as Workforce Rebounds in Arizona

A combination of the COVID-19 pandemic separating employees from their day care outlets and new workers moving in has parents in Arizona facing a shortage of places to keep their young children while they work. 

Day cares around the country saw their clientele vanish when the pandemic laid off millions of parents who paid handsomely for their children to learn while they worked.

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Weekly Jobless Claims Dip Below 300,000 for First Time Since March 2020

Photo “Unemployment Insurance Claims Office” by Bytemarks. CC BY 2.0.

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims decreased to 293,000 last week as companies are holding onto workers amid high demand for labor.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics figure released Thursday shows a 36,000 claim decrease in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending Oct. 2, when 326,000 jobless claims were reported.

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Florida Commission on Ethics Seeks More Staff

The Florida Commission on Ethics (FCE) will be asking the Florida Legislature for more funding for staffing shortages as the backlog of cases continues to pile on. Commissioner Don Gaetz requested the current funding remain the same but felt the commission might need to ask for more.

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Record 4.3 Million People Quit Their Jobs in August as Workers See Opportunity in Chaotic Labor Market

A record 4.3 million Americans quit their job in August as retail and bar and restaurant industries saw the largest surge in employees who left their positions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Tuesday.

Roughly 2.9% of the workforce left their jobs in August, a jump of 242,000 from July’s figure, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report. Experts believe the jump from July’s record-setting number is partly due to workers wanting jobs with more convenient hours, better pay, or working conditions, The Washington Post reported.

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Construction Industry Experiences Slowdown as Labor, Supply Shortages Wreak Havoc

The construction industry is struggling to recover from the pandemic due to difficulties hiring workers and severe supply chain shortfalls, a report found.

Construction contractors project revenue to remain stagnant and below pre-pandemic levels over the next 12 months even as the economy-wide recovery continues, according to the report published Wednesday by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. While the Commerce Commercial Construction Index (CCI), which the Chamber measures on a quarterly basis, ticked up one point, it remained eight points below its early 2020 figure.

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Amazon to Pay Employees’ Full College Tuition in Latest Attempt to Attract More Workers

Amazon will begin paying college tuition for hundreds of thousands of its employees in an effort to attract more workers, the company said Thursday.

More than 750,000 hourly Amazon employees nationwide will be eligible to have their full college tuition paid for at one of hundreds of partner universities, according to the announcement. The billion-dollar online retailer said it would also pay for employees’ associate degrees and high school tuition.

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Florida Judge Sides with DeSantis over Federal Unemployment Halt

Judge Layne Smith, a Circuit Judge in Leon County, sided with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his administration over the decision to cut off federal unemployment dollars for Floridians in June.

Smith ruled DeSantis was within his rights as governor as the state has attempted to get Floridians back to work during a national labor shortage.

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Commentary: American Armageddon

Americans are growing angrier by the day in a way different from prior sagebrush revolts such as the 1960s Silent Majority or Tea Party furor of over a decade ago.

The rage at the current status quo this time is not just fueled by conservatives. For the first time in their lives, all Americans of all classes and races are starting to fear a self-created apocalypse that threatens their families’ safety and the American way of life.

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Labor Shortage Slows Oil Production in Major Fracking State

A shortage of workers has contributed to a significant crude oil production slowdown in North Dakota, the second-largest U.S. oil hub behind only Texas.

The labor shortage has caused oil output to become “flat as a pancake,” North Dakota State Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms told The Bismarck Tribune. Energy companies have struggled to find workers needed to do the laborious work — injecting water, sand and chemicals into wells to extract oil — associated with fracking.

“Most of these folks went to Texas where activity was still significantly higher than it was here, where they didn’t have winter and where there were jobs in their industry,” Helms said, according to the Tribune. “It’s going to take higher pay and housing incentives and that sort of thing to get them here.”

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DeSantis Announces Grants for Florida Rural Communities

A home in rural Florida

Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced $29 million development grants for small and rural communities.

A total of 42 communities are eligible for the grants, and to qualify the towns have to have a population of under 50,000 or be in an unincorporated county with less than 200,000.

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Virginia NFIB Director Calls for Back-To-Work Bonuses

Worker in restaurant kitchen

A May survey from the NFIB found that nationally, seasonally-adjusted 48 percent of small businesses reported unfilled job openings for the fourth consecutive month.

“Virginia small businesses are having a historically hard time hiring workers and getting back to pre-COVID levels,” NFIB Virginia State Director Nicole Riley said in a press release.

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Commentary: Stop Calling It a ‘Labor Shortage.’ It’s an Incentive Shortage

Worker using a sledgehammer on railroad

It’s no secret that US businesses are struggling to find workers. Recent surveys have shown that small businesses are reporting record job openings.

Many have described the phenomenon as a labor shortage.

“Walk outside: labor shortage is the pervasive phenomenon,” economist Lawrence Summers recently observed at a conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

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