10 Tips to Boost Workforce Hiring and Retention
As Labor Day 2023 approaches, our staff is busier than ever assisting employers in all industry sectors who are finding it very challenging to hire and retain the talent they need. Our unemployment rate is a low 3.3 percent and, for two years, there have been more job openings than unemployed people in Palm Beach County.
What can employers do to boost hiring and retaining qualified talent in this strong job market? Try these tips:
Wages and Benefits: Besides pay increases, incentives include signing bonuses, shift differentials, and childcare.
Training and Development: Providing training and development opportunities can help employees to acquire new skills and improve their job performance, which can increase efficiency and productivity.
Flexible Work: Flexible work schedules, remote work and blended options can help employers attract a wider pool of candidates.
Contractors and Temps: External workers can help fill short-term gaps and can bring value when specific skillsets or industry expertise is needed on projects.
Internships: Consider hiring interns to gain valuable support for your business. Internships allow companies to invest in their own future success and perhaps discover new talent and future leaders. The interns may decide to join the company based on their experience and available opportunities at your organization.
Recruitment and Hiring Strategies: Re-evaluating recruitment and hiring strategies can help businesses attract a wider pool of candidates, including those who may have previously been discouraged from entering the labor market. Consider applicants with little or no experience, such as recent graduates, and those looking to change career fields.
Retention Efforts: Are you actively monitoring workforce gaps to be sure that you’re staffed properly? Have you spoken with employees to gauge their workload and its impact by resignations and layoffs?
Automation: Some employers have turned to automation to augment their workforce, such as the use of check-in/check-out kiosks, and automated robot servers in restaurants, mowers, etc. Can AI be used to take on routine tasks?
Partnerships and Collaboration: Collaborating with other businesses, educational institutions, and community organizations such as CareerSource Palm Beach County can help address labor shortages by creating new training and employment opportunities.
Job Fairs: Meet, interview, screen, and hire qualified candidates on the spot at any or all of our hiring events.
We appreciate the opportunity to serve you with your hiring needs. From our homepage at www.careersourcepbc.com go to “For Employers” for more information.
Our hope for this Labor Day is to provide that first -- or next – step for someone to land a new job or a better one, hopefully at your organization. What better way to follow Labor Day than with a new job and new hire to celebrate!
The July unemployment rate for Palm Beach County is 3.3%, which is just above the state average of 3.1% and lower than the nation at 3.8% (all numbers not seasonally adjusted). This is a positive local job recovery with 34,063 open jobs, compared to 25,588 unemployed residents.
The local labor force was over 786K in July, total nonagricultural employment in the county is 674,200 adding 12,700 jobs a 1.9% over the year gain. The biggest local employment increase over the year in July was in the Education and Health Services at 5.6% (+5,900) compared over the year to July of 2022.
Is the Fed Gaining Control Over Inflation?
The Federal Reserve has been aggressively cranking up interest rates in hopes of slowing the economy enough to control inflation. It has raised borrowing costs 11 times since last year, pushing rates to their highest level in decades, which has tempered the housing market and helped cool hiring. Even so, the economy has remained surprisingly resilient: Unemployment is low, wages are rising, and families and businesses continue to spend.
As a result, many economists have scrapped their recession forecasts for the year in favor of a rosier outlook, including the possibility that the Fed can bring down inflation without widespread job losses or a broader economic downturn.
Indeed, the latest data shows that inflation is continuing its descent across the economy in many categories. Airline fares dropped 8.1 percent in July, while the cost of used cars and trucks fell 1.3 percent. Prices for household furnishings, new cars and medical care also notched declines
“The easy work in bringing inflation rates down is complete,” Tom Garretson, senior portfolio strategist for RBC Wealth Management, wrote recently, “Further progress will continue, but at a slower pace.”
Still, the fight against rising prices isn’t a done deal. Housing, car insurance, education and recreation all got costlier in July. Some economists are predicting that rising oil and gas costs could lead to another rise in inflation in August, though they expect prices to settle back down this fall.
“Core” inflation — a closely watched measure that excludes food and energy costs, which tend to fluctuate more than other sectors — remains stubbornly elevated. In July, it rose 0.2 percent, keeping in line with the previous month’s growth.
And although the Fed appears to be approaching the end of its rate-hiking effort, economists say higher inflation could complicate the picture. The central bank won’t set new interest rates until its September meeting, by which point another month’s worth of inflation figures will have been released.
“Given the weakness we’ve seen in some economic data of late, I think any re-acceleration in inflation would change the narrative around what the Fed is going to do,” said Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab. “The market is basically betting that the Fed has paused. But if you start to develop hotter inflation or something that’s not a continuation of the disinflationary trend, that’s not a great recipe.”
What’s important, economists say, is not just whether inflation is coming down, but exactly how it is doing so. They are keeping a close watch on whether recent declines in rental costs — which are used as a stand-in for housing prices and operate on a delay will begin to push down official inflation readings. So far, shelter costs have continued to rise. In July, they contributed to more than 90 percent of the month’s overall inflation.
Policymakers also paying particular attention to hikes in the costs of services outside of energy and housing, a measure that Fed Chair Jerome H. Powell has highlighted as closely linked to wages and the labor market.
Policymakers have stressed that the path to lower inflation could be rocky, and economists say recent fluctuation in some sectors are making it difficult to chart longer term trends. Some of the summer’s biggest swings have come from and energy costs. Brent crude oil prices, for example, are up 17 percent since June, while the national average gas prices have risen 7 percent to $3.83 per gallon, AAA data shows Palm Beach County is averaging $3.90 per gallon, down from $4.09 last week but the most expensive price in the state.
Beyond gas prices, many service-related costs are beginning to stabilize because of waning demand. Americans have recently begun pulling back on dining out, flying and sporting events as they work through extra pandemic-era savings. Delinquencies on mortgages and car loans are edging up, and consumers are sitting on a record $1 trillion in credit card debt, according to data released this week by the New York Fed.
Hotels are likely to feel the pinch in coming months, especially as the new local summer season winds down, and the traditional winter tourist season begins. Many hotels are re-considering raising their nightly prices after rate increases throughout our summer.
Consumer Optimism is Returning
Five days after the latest CPI reading showed a slight uptick in inflation, a monthly report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York revealed rising optimism among Americans about the mid-term inflation outlook. According to the latest Survey of Consumer Expectations, Americans’ inflation expectations for twelve months from now declined for the fourth consecutive month in July, while expectations for three years ahead were almost steady compared to the June survey.
In July, the median expected inflation rate one year ahead was 3.5 percent, down from 3.8 percent the previous month and from a peak of 6.8 percent in June 2022. Looking three years ahead, the median expected inflation rate was 2.9 percent in July, down ever so slightly from 3.0 percent in June. Just as consumer expectations, CPI inflation also peaked in June 2022, a 9.1 percent. Since then, inflation has cooled notably, coming down to 3.2 percent in the latest reading.
- The labor market is strong, but cooling has started.
- Job growth is still positive, but it is slowing, with some pockets of weakness
- Wage growth is still elevated, although it has dropped below its peak from early 2022.
- Job growth is expected to further slow over the next months.
- Job openings and quits will likely continue their decline, and wage growth may further moderate.
- Unemployment rate may rise to about 4.2 percent by early 2024 (from 3.5 percent today).
- Long-term, labor shortages are here to stay because of structural trends in demographics.
The National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) has presented their National Workforce Employer of the Year award to CareerSource Palm Beach County and the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County for their partnership to improve economic and employment development in the region.
“The Workforce Employer of the Year award recognizes a private-sector employer or employer consortium who partners and collaborates with their local workforce partners to create a positive impact in their local area,” said Melissa Robbins, NAWDP’s Chief Executive Officer.
The partnership has been fruitful with new industry data showing Palm Beach County is home to 463 corporate, subsidiary & regional offices; 2,897 financial services and hedge funds; 1,628 aviation/aerospace/engineering companies; 2,189 infotech companies; 5,496 healthcare companies; 682 distribution & logistics centers; and 1,424 manufacturing companies.
“We are incredibly pleased and proud that our achievements arising from our partnership with the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County have been nationally recognized with this award,” said Julia Dattolo, President and CEO. “Our partnership has created a much more diversified, high-quality employer base, making our economy more resilient – and contributing to record low unemployment rates for more than a year.”
“CareerSource Palm Beach County has been an impactful partner of the Business Development Board’s economic development efforts and it’s an honor to receive this prestigious award together. This partnership will continue to stimulate economic energy and enrich the vitality of Palm Beach County as more corporate citizens relocate to and expand in the Palm Beaches,” said Kelly Smallridge, President and CEO of the Business Development Board.
This is the second national award CareerSource Palm Beach County has recently received. The National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) presented their national Trailblazer Award to CareerSource PBC in 2021. The award recognizes a workforce board that has been a leader in developing comprehensive workforce solutions for its communities. The Business Development Board has received nearly 10 national, state and local awards since 2022.
Charles Duval, Assistant Vice President of Business Services, sat down with Arlene Borenstein of South Florida PBS to shed light on how CareerSource Palm Beach County fosters career growth and bridges the gap between skills and in-demand jobs. Click on this link to see the program segment, then go to our website for more information on how we can help with apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs at your business: https://youtu.be/wNweh5kFsIo
The Business Development Board's Palm Beach County Business magazine is recognized as the quarterly business portrait showcasing local influencers and news in the county. Each quarter CareerSource Palm Beach County participates and this issue focuses on From Homeless to Hopeful: Network of Job Resources Help Family Find Future and HR Pro Turns to CareerSource for Next Job on pages 15 and 16.