Retiring baby boomers and laborers leaving the workforce on disability claims (including drug addiction) has largely led to the low numbers of blue-collar job applicants. In addition, there has been an increase in the number of high school seniors going on to four-year liberal arts degrees and getting highly skilled jobs or starting careers in technology or in public service, like school teachers.

Sectors like healthcare, including clinics and nursing homes; traditional manufacturing; agribusiness; equipment operators; and construction workers will see continued demand and shortfalls in applicant pools. In addition to increasing wages to attract workers (many trucking companies now pay six-figure salaries), companies  will need to be creative to attract and retain employees or look elsewhere.

A number of companies are offering free educational programs including certifications, apprentice programs and college courses.  Some companies are providing supplementary benefits including additional vacation days, flexible work schedules, healthy and diverse food options in café and a fun work environment with game rooms and creative sitting areas.  As companies prepare for Gen Z, work culture and branding is more important than ever.

Next week’s blog will be more about the new generation of workers, Gen Z.