U.S. Labor Shortages: Challenges and Solutions | Conference Board

Workforce Trends

This Conference Board report details how, in the span of just 10 years, “the US economy moved from having the weakest labor market since the Great Depression to one of the tightest in history.“ This is especially true for blue-collar and manual services employers who are experiencing much tighter labor markets than employers of highly educated white-collar workers — the exact opposite of prevailing trends in recent decades. Various factors have contributed to a decrease in labor supply including 1) slowing working-age population growth driven by massive retirements 2) a shrinking population of non-college-educated workers 3) lower labor force participation by especially young men, 4) large increase of the # of people not entering the labor force due to disability, 5) large drop of labor force participation in 16-24-year-olds. This 80+ page report is replete with insights, so it will take one some time to read through it. However, p.8 provides a snapshot of 31 tactics that organizations are using to address retention and recruiting challenges–with increased salaries and wages topping the list. Since no one “magic bullet” exists, organizations should use a combination of solutions to address this challenge.

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