Ideas needed to help address job vacancies | News, Sports, Jobs – Altoona Mirror

Mar 5, 2022
The message “Help Wanted” was one of the most visible and predominant of 2021 in the Southern Alleghenies region — indeed, across America — probably second only to some of the most important announcements tied directly to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the six Southern Alleghenies counties — Blair, Cambria, Bedford, Somerset, Huntingdon and Fulton — the two-word plea for workers has remained a fixture during the first months of 2022 as well.
Well-run businesses and industries have a definite planning structure in place to run their operations. That includes a handle on the employee staffing that is necessary, as well as how that business or industry implements and manages its staffing.
However, for most business operations, the COVID-19 pandemic turned plans in place and usual staffing considerations upside down. Consequently, as the nation continues striving to rebound from the horrific health crisis, families and businesses are opting for the best strategies they can muster to fashion the best return to normalcy possible.
Just like for families, businesses have a right to experiment. That requires their front-office executives, managers and supervisors to exercise various options, either temporarily or with an eye to permanence, to enable them to return to — or maintain — profitability.
But, there is a key point that must be acknowledged, even during a health crisis like COVID-19. That is that for individuals and families to survive, they need adequate sources of income to pay for life’s necessities.
Even if the Southern Alleghenies region is not experiencing negativities to the degree that many other places across America are, it is appropriate for people here to understand the issues at hand. Unfortunately, judging from the many “Help Wanted” signs, perhaps there needs to be some business brainstorming here as well as places beyond.
Consider an issue that got front-page coverage in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal under the headline “One reason workers quit: too little work.”
The article began:
“American workers quit a record 47 million jobs last year. They quit for better pay, or to be their own boss, or to work around child-care needs, or from worry about catching COVID-19. Some were burned-out and just wanted a break. There’s another reason, less recognized: Their employer wouldn’t give them enough hours.”
According to the Journal, at a time when businesses that rely on hourly workers are saying that they can’t hire enough people, many of the people being hired are saying that their schedules are so skimpy that they can’t make enough money to survive.
“Around the country,” the article points out, “businesses have been raising wages to draw in workers. Yet, 24% of hourly workers say that their employer isn’t giving them as many hours as they want, according to a fall 2021 survey from Harvard University’s Shift Project, a research initiative that tracks working conditions for hourly workers.”
The Journal reported some companies across the nation are overhiring by as much as 40% to give themselves a cushion, but that can translate to fewer working hours for many employees — and, thus, many resignations.
All considered, the “Help Wanted” issue might not be resolved anytime soon, but some possible remedies are obvious and ought to be given serious thought.
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