Search for Talent Continues

Last week the Chamber announced its annual Talent Summit. It will be Wednesday, September 30. We quickly got over 50 registrations. What’s with that? Aren’t we in a Covid-19 induced recession?

The answer can be found in an editorial on the 13th by the Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal. It is titled “Help Still Wanted, Believe it or Not.” Believe it.

The Editorial Board wrote “For more evidence that the labor market recovery is continuing, consider the Labor Department’s JOLTS report last week showing the U.S. had 6.6 million job openings in July—about as many as in December of last year. Many businesses are eager to hire, if they could find workers.”

Clearly, this is not a universal challenge, as some companies continue to shed jobs or close. Such is the nature of the economy in the Covid-19 era. While the government closures of the economy had a widespread impact on almost all business sectors, the impacts were uneven.

One challenge for many employers is that they are competing with the generous jobless benefits. This point came up again in a conversation I was involved in yesterday. Once the generous $600 per week enhanced jobless benefits expired at the end of July, they were replaced by $300 a week, which is still a disincentive for some people to look for work.

It was noted in the piece that an NFIB “survey last week reported that a third of small businesses had unfilled job openings and their most cited problem was ‘quality of labor.’”

For a while, as the impacts of the Covid-19 shutdowns echo forward through the economy, we’ll see this discordant labor picture of higher unemployment and labor shortages.

One way to get a clearer picture of what is happening and where things are headed is to attend the Talent Summit. Because of the generous support by our sponsors, you can register for free. The speakers are first-rate and it will be time well spent.