Kelly Carpenter, an Express Employment Professionals franchise owner in Columbus, Ohio, has never seen a time like this.
“What we are experiencing is different from any other year,” she said, talking about the high number of job openings available through her office. “Recruiting is a huge challenge in the Columbus area. Good talent is very hard to find, and employers don’t have the time and resources to recruit for their positions. Unemployment is very low in Columbus, and the talent pool is very small.”
According to a new analysis released by Express, Carpenter’s office has the most job openings of any Express office in the United States. And Ohio is one of four states, along with Texas, California, and Illinois, boasting more than 1,000 openings.
Rounding out the top 10 states are Indiana (914 openings), Washington (813), Georgia (726), Pennsylvania (713), Florida (639) and Minnesota (616).
Express also released a list of the ten offices with the most open positions:
The sharp increase in economic growth has many businesses in our community adding staff-specifically in the skilled labor industry, according to Richard Yoerk, an Express franchise owner in Champaign, Illinois.
“We saw an increase of 147 percent in the demand for skilled labor,” he said. “I’m pretty optimistic that we’ll see solid growth in 2018.”
Janis Petrini, an Express franchise owner in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is optimistic about the economy, but doesn’t expect employment to grow further.
“We are predicting flat employment growth over the next year-not because there won’t be jobs, but because there won’t be people to fill the positions,” she said. “Currently, it’s estimated there are two open jobs for every one unemployed person in the Greater Grand Rapids area.”
Jan Riggins, an Express general manager in Fort Worth, Texas, sees continued good news for job seekers and workers in her region.
“We have enough companies growing that the demand for workers will be so intense that we expect the recruiting crunch we are in to become even tighter,” she said.
She predicts the demand for talent will mean improvements in compensation.
“We see pay rates increasing across the board in most industries, and an increased focus on providing benefits and other incentives like a flexible work schedule,” she said.
In so many communities, it is a jobseeker’s economy-especially for job seekers with in-demand talents and skills, according to Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
“As we’re hearing across the country, there are no immediate signs that the demand for workers is going to let up,” he said. “It’s yet another reminder that government and business leaders alike need to find ways to get more people off the sidelines and focus on strategies that expand the labor pool in America.”