Labor Shortages In The Third District

In addition to the usual Philly Fed indices released yesterday, the report also featured a handful of special questions all of which concerned employment and labor shortages. Overall, the results showed a surprisingly tight labor market: of responding firms, 64.3% reported that they currently are experiencing a shortage in labor while 58.9% reported that there is a skills mismatch. Given these issues with labor supply, 44.6% reported that there are job vacancies that have been open for more than three months.

The survey also asked whether these labor shortages were in general or specific to certain skills. Just 8.9% of firms reported that they are receiving qualified candidates. Meanwhile, over a quarter reported that they are seeing a significant shortage in qualified applicants for some skills and positions; another 17.9% reported that the shortage is so bad they are struggling to fill any position. Another 21.4% responded that it is still possible to fill positions with qualified applicants, although, it is getting harder to do so. In total, over two-thirds appear to acknowledge the labor shortage to some degree.

This has led to some inflationary pressures in terms of wages as a majority of firms are raising wages to entice new hires; 21.4% also reported that they are increasing recruitment incentives and 10.7% are increasing benefits. 42.9% are also reporting that they are settling for less-skilled workers; furthermore, 37.5% and 28.6%, respectively are providing more training to new or existing workers. 23.2% are also partnering with education institutions to align curriculums with their hiring needs.  

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