Crain's Detroit Business: Matt Piszczek on current labor shortage
If you're in business or read the pages of Crain's in recent months, you're likely asking, "Where have all the good workers gone?" About 74 percent of businesses surveyed in September by the National Federation of Independent Businesses said they are experiencing a mild to significant staffing shortage. And 82 percent of those surveyed said they are losing sales opportunities due to their inability to fill vacant positions. The shortage is pervasive. Henry Ford and other health systems are temporarily shuttering beds due to inadequate staffing - HFHS is even importing 500 nurses from the Philippines to fill the gaps. Last week, Michigan State University announced it is temporarily closing its residential dining halls, which feeds thousands weekly, due to the labor shortage. But Matthew Piszczek, an assistant professor of management at Wayne State University, warns that many of those that left the labor force may not return even without benefits. "Due to care demands, whether that's the elderly or children, created by COVID a lot of people have stepped out of the labor force and we just don't know whether they will return even if COVID winds down," Piszczek said. "If their job was low paying and not all that satisfying, they may have found a way to live without returning. COVID really shook up people's priorities and we can't discount that impact on the labor force."