3rd Quarter 2021 Business Solutions
3rd Quarter 2021 Business Solutions

3rd Quarter 2021 Business Solutions

CEO Message 3rd Quarter 2021 Business Solutions

CareerSource Palm Beach County Recognized with National Award 

I believe this national recognition shows that no matter the challenge, our CareerSource team kept its focus on providing the best possible service to the job seekers and employers of Palm Beach County. It is a distinct honor in achieving this top award among more than 500 workforce board nationwide, particularly for this past year in responding to challenges from the pandemic. We were among the last regions in the state to close for in-person services, pivoting to a virtual environment never shutting down operations, and adopting new and innovative ways of serving our clients better.

Ron Painter, President, and CEO of NAWB, put it this way: “Over the past year, workforce development boards, leaders, and industry partners have gone above and beyond to provide essential services in a time of national crisis. NAWB could not be more honored to recognize each of these award recipients. Workforce development boards are a critical piece of our country’s infrastructure, and we are thrilled to take a moment to recognize them at our annual event.”

The NAWB represents over 500 workforce boards and their 12,000+ business members that coordinate and leverage workforce strategies with education and economic development stakeholders within their local communities, to ensure that state and local workforce development and job training programs meet the needs of employers.

NAWB told us that CareerSource Palm Beach County was selected out of a large pool of nominations for the national Trailblazer Award. This honor recognizes a workforce development board that has been a leader in implementing the system changes envisioned in the federal workforce act and its ability to meet the needs of residents and employers through partnerships with government agencies, business and industry, economic development, training and education, and community-based organizations. 

We are incredibly humbled to receive this national recognition and to serve you. Please call on us to provide qualified talent and incentive grants to help your business grow and thrive.

Your Regional Economic Outlook

The June unemployment rate for Palm Beach County is 5.3 percent, lower than the state rate at 5.7 percent and the nation at 6.1 percent (all numbers not seasonally adjusted). This is a positive local job recovery with 30,200 more now employed as compared to June 2020.  

High costs and low supply from post-pandemic surge expected to ease soon.

The recent gasoline shortages due to a supply issue and the big jumps in the cost of living are only temporary, says national economist and Director of UCF’s Institute for Economic Forecasting Sean Snaith. The pent-up demand, coupled with insufficient supplies to meet the post-pandemic surge, has sent prices soaring. These disruptions in supply are expected to ease over the next few months, along with the upward pressure on prices, Snaith says.

The Institute for Economic Forecasting releases quarterly U.S. and Florida economic forecasts and just released, this year’s Q2 U.S. Forecast includes national economic analyses and projections.

  • Consumption spending will accelerate to 7.7% in 2021, ease to 4.4% in 2022, then ease to 2.5 percent in 2023 and 2024. Consumption spending shrank by 3.9% in 2020.
  • Ultra-low inventories and mortgage rates will underpin the housing market. Housing starts will rise from 1.4 million in 2020 to 1.59 million in 2021, then decelerate to 1.32 million by 2024.
  • The headline unemployment rate (U-3) is expected to decline to 3.5% in 2024.
  • Payroll job growth of -5.7% in 2020 will be followed by 3.4% in 2021, 3.5% in 2022, 1.3% in 2023 and 1% in 2024.
  • The U.S. economy, as measured by Real Gross Domestic Product, was -3.5% in 2020, but will accelerate to 6.7% in 2021 and ease to 4.7% in 2022 and 1.9% in 2023. It will rise to 2.2% in 2024.

Economic recovery and local growth accelerated with new business relocations. 

One of the big questions about this economic recovery is where the workers are and what it might take to lure them back into the labor force. Higher pay? Better hours? Benefits?

The nation’s employers filled 850,000 more net positions in June, the Labor Department reported. This was more jobs than had been expected, which is of course good news. But the number of Americans participating in the labor force didn’t move, remaining well below its pre-pandemic level.

In raw numbers, nationally there are roughly 3.4 million fewer people either employed or looking for employment than there were in February 2020. Unless these people come back into the workforce soon, it will be hard for employers to accelerate their hiring. In Florida, we have 274,000 more people either employed or looking for employment than in February 2020. The same in Palm Beach County as we have 10,805 more people either employed or looking for employment than in February 2020. 

You might wonder if the national labor force shrank because people have become discouraged and believe no positions are available for them, which often happens in recessions. Now, though, open jobs are plentiful – and workers know it. One indication of that is the increase in the worker quit rate.

In the most recently available government data (from April), vacancies were at record highs. A June survey from the National Federation of Independent Business likewise found that almost half of small business owners reported job openings they could not fill, not far from the historical high reached the previous month. And the Conference Board’s latest consumer confidence survey found that the share saying jobs are 'plentiful' rose to a two-decade high.

So what’s going on? Some have blamed generous unemployment benefits – and it’s reasonable to believe that bigger weekly checks could be causing at least some workers to delay returning to jobs. But benefits are unlikely to be behind labor-force dropouts because, technically, to receive jobless benefits you have to still be in the labor force (i.e., you must attest that you’re actively looking for work). 

To some extent, workers and would-be workers might be getting choosier; many have reevaluated the positions they held most recently, or those on offer now, and decided they want something better. Data from the Real-Time Population Survey maintained by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas found that of individuals who were employed in February 2020, but not currently employed, only about half said they would be willing to return to their previous position for the same pay and hours.

With wages rising and employers throwing in other enticements, some of these people – or others sitting on the sidelines - could be lured back into employment.

But a large contingent of the population may be done with the job market for good. I’m talking about retirees.

The most recently available government data on people who specifically say they are 'retired' go through May; they show that the number of retirees surged last year.

'Relative to the pre-pandemic trend, retirees account for an additional 0.6% of the population than we might have anticipated,' Michael Pearce, a senior U.S. economist for Capital Economics, wrote in a client note.

The June Labor Department data also give hints of what’s happening with retirements and who might reasonably be tempted back off the sidelines. The number of prime-working-age Americans (those 25 to 54) and people close to typical retirement age (55 to 64) in the workforce has dropped a little; people of standard retirement age (65-plus) in the workforce have fallen much more.

That under-65 crowd is gradually flowing back into the labor force as vaccinations rise, schools and child-care facilities reopen, public transit improves, and other factors make it easier or more appealing to return to work. But that over-65 crowd seems more difficult to drawback.

The number of available jobs has set a record for three straight months. Job openings had fallen to as low as 4.6 million last year after the coronavirus pandemic briefly shut down much of the economy.

Businesses are trying to fill the mountain of available jobs, but it’s not going as fast as they would like. The U.S. created 850,000 new jobs in June, at that rate it would take more than a year at that rate to restore national employment to pre-pandemic trends.

The competition for workers has given job seekers the upper hand. A record 4 million people quit two months ago — most to take a better or better-paying job. That’s nearly double the number of people quitting a year earlier.

Big picture: The U.S. economy is as hot as a summer day in July, but a surprising labor shortage of sorts threatens to rain on the recovery.

Companies can’t hire enough new workers to keep up with customer demand and veteran employees are often being poached by rivals offering higher pay. Some firms have even had to reject new business.

Economists predict millions of people who left the labor force during the pandemic will eventually return to work as schools and daycare centers reopen, Covid peters out, and extra government unemployment benefits expire in September.

The Federal Reserve said that the labor squeeze could last months, but Bank of America expects the job market to recover by early 2022.

In closing, we will continue to focus on the changing needs of our employer community. The rapid changes in the work environment present new opportunities. Our plan is to connect businesses with talent and deliver measurable improvements to our communities.

Healthcare Recruiting: Are Novice Nurses Ready for the Post-Covid Future?

By Judith Dunn, RN, MPH, MHM

Healthcare is one of the most in-demand employment sectors in our region but graduating nurses in the COVID-19 pandemic have faced unique challenges that impact employers and patients.

Graduating nurses for 2020-2021 have faced unique challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many healthcare students have been unable to complete their clinical rotations in hospitals or other healthcare facilities which is normal process. This practice provides the student with real-life situations that require critical thinking skills and a deeper connection to the patient. 

Unfortunately, these COVID-era students had to utilize lab-only simulation mannequins to perform all the tasks they would have demonstrated on a real patient.  The simulation technology provides the opportunity to rethink, readjust and change course, if necessary, by hitting the reset button. However, there has never been a patient in real-life situations that followed every protocol to the letter. There is always an additional condition or an underlying factor that changes the standard protocol. Nurses in training had to develop critical thinking skills early in their development. This is imperative because clinical rotations meant performing these tasks on each other or with a true patient. 

Simulation for practicing techniques is not the only way to learn or perform procedures on a living, breathing person, but this cannot be the only way to perform critical tasks. Communicating with a patient is one of the most important components of nursing care that makes a difference in their outcomes. The loss of human interaction with a patient may result in slower recovery rates and decreased patient satisfaction. The outcome may be detrimental in the long term to patient who needs a caring touch to feel connected to life. Nurses may develop an unnatural “no fear attitude” about making errors or causing the patient more pain as they become desensitized because they can “hit the reset button.” 

In other areas of the hospital, like newborn nurseries, pediatrics or critical care units, the lack of touch affects behavior; higher stress levels and loneliness.  There is documented proof that babies in the neonatal intensive care unit or newborn nursery heal faster and thrive when held or touched. Nothing can replace the human touch of a parent or caregiver although science is trying to develop a robotic hand that mimics human skin.

The loss of human connection is a concern for the medical community as we increase the robotic technology in hospitals, surgical centers and assisted living facilities. The technology seems to be accepted by society as over a million surgeries have been performed in the last 35 years. When asked, most patients wanted the surgeon to remain in the room while operating the robotic device -- patients surveyed were reluctant to giving total control to robots.

Caregiver robots are the next technological advancement to respond to the needs of the patient for selecting and preparing food, giving medications and possibly dressing the patient. But, there is still a need for human touch that the robot cannot provide.

The human touch or connection makes all the difference to patients and nurses. Current graduates have had to rely on hands-on experience in lab simulations leaving hospitals to fill the gaps. Let’s hope we never become desensitized to it.

National Nursing Trends

The results of American Nurse Journal’s fourth annual Nursing Trends and Salary Survey reveal much about nursing during this tumultuous year. The survey of 4,263 RNs notes that individual responses and comments were likely influenced by the burden of local coronavirus outbreaks on a respondent’s employer and how individual nurses’ and their families’ health have been impacted. Here’s more about what nurses are saying:

  • Of the respondents, 85% say the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t changed their career plans.
  • More than half of respondents (55%) report salary increases in the past 12 months, and 61% received a raise within the past year.
  • More than half of respondents (56%) report an increased workload in the past 12 months (compared to 60% in 2019).
  • Many respondents (78%) aren’t currently seeking another employer in the next 3 months.
  • Less than half (42%) plan to stay with their current employer for 5 years or more.
  • More than half (52%) have worked for their current employer for 5 years or less.
  • In 2019, 59% of respondents reported having been verbally assaulted by a patient. This year, 54% of respondents say they were verbally assaulted or bullied by a patient.

CareerSource Palm Beach County Featured INVEST: Palm Beach 2021

CareerSource Palm Beach County is featured in the latest issue of the Capital Analytics Associates Invest Magazine. The feature includes Spotlight On: Julia Dattolo, President & CEO, CareerSource Palm Beach County about the company’s growth despite the pandemic. 

 

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