More jobs than available workers in Ohio

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Recent labor reports show that there are more job openings in Ohio than there are workers to fill vacancies. The tight labor market puts pressure on employers looking for seasonal help.

“It’s a tough job market right now. It’s an employee market. Employers are doing everything they can to create buzz and try to find people,” said Damian Cosby, director of golf at Cleveland Metroparks.

Saturday morning, Cleveland Metroparks held a seasonal hiring fair at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. It is looking to fill positions at its 18 reserves, golf courses, restaurants, retail, marinas and zoo. Over 500 people pre-registered for the job fair, exceeding staff expectations.

“Today was a great day. We had a lot of great applicants, a great response, a lot of positive people, eager to get back into the workforce,” said Jason Reed, General Manager of Culinary Operations.

Reed explained that a lack of workers in recent years has forced some Metropark locations to limit hours and menus or temporarily close. This year, the system plans to resume programming and reopen closed venues.

Although the presence of job seekers at the job fair was a promising sign for staffing, employers recognized that they will need to offer competitive salaries and an attractive company culture.

“I got a few job offers,” said Misty Blaylock, who had been looking for a job for a month. “It’s just a question of ‘what now?’ [I’m] reduce it [based on] driving distance, pay rates and what I think will work best for me. »

Jonathan Ernest, assistant professor of economics at Case Western Reserve University, explained that many employers are vying for the same employees, while competing with freelance and app-based gigs. Positions like carpooling, dog walking, or grocery delivery give workers the flexibility to choose when and how long they work.

“The question becomes: how do you attract some of these workers? And what are they looking for? And how do you get them to show up at job fairs and such when you want to fill all those positions? said Ernest.

The latest report from Ohio Job and Family Services showed about 246,000 unemployed Ohio in January. That’s 8,000 fewer workers than the 254,000+ jobs posted on the Ohio Means Jobs website.

Ernest explained that it remains unclear what impact returning workers might have on inflation. Although he said inflation could affect some labor-intensive industries, such as construction, where rising costs could halt projects.

“This will help limit the number of jobs, which will limit the number of workers needed. And then we can better match that pool of workers to those jobs,” he said.

Current employment statistics show that the number of jobs has increased, both in the past month and year, in most employment sectors in Ohio. Exceptions include health care, education and health services, and government positions, all of which saw employment declines.

Some employers are hoping these numbers are a sign of an improving job market.

“I am cautiously optimistic. There are people who want to work and we are doing everything we can to find them,” Cosby said.

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