The President of Manpower in Frederick says much of is employees participation is down.
Frederick, Md (KM) Businesses face many challenges, but the biggest one is finding enough people to fill their job openings. “We need to find solutions to getting more workers in the workforce. And it can’t happen quickly enough,” says Lisa Coblentz, the President of Manpower, Inc. of Frederick.
In a recent appearance on WFMD’s “Morning News Express,” Coblentz says the unemployment rate has returned to the low levels it had in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic. But the workforce participation is down. “And that has dropped significantly pre-COVID to now,” she says. “And that means is there are a lot less people who would be filing for unemployment if they were in the workforce. But they’ve chosen to leave the workforce altogether, and we don’t have enough people to replace those individuals who have left the workforce since 2020.”
The unemployment rate counts those who are actively looking for work, and have applied for benefits. It does not include those who for some reason are not seeking employment.
Coblentz also said this is exacerbated by the “baby boom” generation—those born between 1946 and 1964–who have or will be retiring soon. She says three is not too many people to replace them. “Around the 2000’s we started to see the population increase. But it’s still no where near all the baby boomers who are leaving the workforce,” says Coblentz.
Prior to the pandemic, the percentage of women and men in the workforce was about even. But Coblentz says COVID-19 had a negative impact, particularly for women. “There was so much frustration with kids leaning remotely. Then ‘we’re going back;’ we’re not going back.’ Back and forth. ‘Oh, your kid’s being sent home for 14 days they were exposed to another child,’ How can you hold down a job when you’re being back and forth,” she says
Coblentz noted that in many households, women are still the primary caregivers for their children.
She also said the most in demand jobs are the low skilled jobs such as working in farm fields, and the high tech positions.
WFMD is hosting a business forum on Tuesday, March 28th beginning at 12:00 noon at the new Spires Arts Stage at 15 West Patrick Street across from the Weinberg Center.
By Kevin McManus