With employment increasing, a labor force increase is needed to keep pace for the future.
Southeast Michigan employment increased throughout 2015 reaching 2009 pre-recession levels, with more than 2.3 million individuals working, following five years of continuous growth. The year closed with 32,514 more individuals in jobs than in 2014, for 1.4 percent annual growth.
These findings, among others, can be found in data compiled by the Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN) in its fourth quarter labor market report.
Despite the gains, however, qualified, available talent has become a scarce commodity in the 9-county region, which includes Genesee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Wayne, and Washtenaw counties. Following a national trend, large disparities between job demand and labor force participation exist.
“Companies are seeking new talent but labor force participation is not keeping pace, residing, in fact, at its lowest levels since the 1970s,” said Lisa Katz, executive director of WIN. “This, which can be attributed to vast changes in demographics, including baby boomers retiring en masse, women as a lesser force in the labor market due to the increased cost of childcare, and millennials opting to enter the workforce later in lieu of higher-ed degrees.”
Online job postings in 2015 reached and retained record high levels with nearly a half million ads posted in southeast Michigan. Employer demand increased by nearly 33 percent in 2015 compared to 2014 as employers placed 122,000 more job ads in 2015 than in 2014.
“Continued high posting levels in the fourth quarter of 2015 position the region for sustained employment growth, yet, if our labor force remains flat or continues to decline, employers will have to find other means of attracting new workers,” notes Katz. “That could include adopting major policy changes, minimizing job and education requirements, and advancing training and internship opportunities for students.”
The full report can be found at http://www.win-semich.org/data-research/quarterlyreports/