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Verbally piling on to job growth

October 13, 2017


Ron Wirtz Director, Regional Outreach
Verbally piling on to job growth

Job vacancy trends suggest strong demand for workers in Minnesota. Regional Outreach also has regular contact with Minnesota and other businesses across the Ninth District, and they reinforce the idea that employers hiring, but having difficulty meeting demand. Below is a smattering of recent comments from Minnesota sources regarding the difficulty of finding labor, and its consequences. (All responses are anonymous to retain source confidentiality.) 

Southeast Minnesota staffing firm: “Hiring is still robust. I have no issue getting clients. If I had 100 people I could put them all to work.”

A Minnesota service labor union representative: “Demand for all classifications in hospitality remains very strong in union and non-union businesses. There are huge shortages for trained culinary workers in the industry and for housekeepers and utility workers. Demand has been up more recently.  Hiring will remain stronger than usual because of new (restaurant and hotel) openings and the Super Bowl lead up. … Start rates need to go up just to get candidates through the door with consistent increases to retain the employees or they will just move on.”

A manufacturer just north of the Twin Cities: “If we had more workers, we’d do more jobs.”

A Minnesota workforce development contact: “Pressure is continually on our employers as the pool of locally qualified candidates is stretched tight. Employers are talking about keeping their current employees who are eligible to retire on in part-time capacities, which is a short-term gap fill as they continue to look for long-term solutions.”

Another Minnesota workforce development contact: “The hospitality and tourist industry is struggling to attract and retain workforce and turnover is increasing of late. Some new restaurants in the city of Duluth are offering upwards of $15 to be a cook and are still struggling to fill their needs and businesses are cutting back on hours.”

A Minnesota construction contact: “We’re seeing lots of overtime because we can’t find enough workers with enough skills. There is wage growth, but other dynamics are (at play). Just offering wage increases or higher wages is not enough to attract workers. (One construction firm) is working people seven days a week and it is still not enough.”

Ron Wirtz
Director, Regional Outreach

Ron Wirtz is a Minneapolis Fed regional outreach director. Ron tracks current business conditions, with a focus on employment and wages, construction, real estate, consumer spending, and tourism. In this role, he networks with businesses in the Bank’s six-state region and gives frequent speeches on economic conditions. Follow him on Twitter @RonWirtz.