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Seven reasons for so many help wanted signs

Nov 22, 2021 1:01 pm

Larry Parnass reports in the Berkshire Eagle about seven reason why some workers in Berkshire County in Massachusetts are not returning to work. Just like in the Hudson Valley, and much of the United States, there are many help wanted signs in store windows. Parness breaks down the reasons why employers are having a difficult time filling those positions: • Some are waiting out the pandemic. Some, especially with health conditions, do not want to risk catching COVID-19.
• Some want to work on their own terms. Economists are calling the current trend “the Great Resignation,” as more workers in the U.S. voluntarily left their jobs in September than ever before according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
• Some believe the money’s not worth the hassle. The Food Labor Research Center at the University of California-Berkeley reports that 75 percent of people polled said they had left the food industry during the pandemic because of low wages.
• Some are retiring early. Heather Boulger, of the MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board, said, “They just decided that they want more flexibility — and don’t want that level of stress anymore.”
• Some lack child-care. Boulger thinks this is why as many as one-third of local workers are now out of the workforce.
• Some are willing to make do with less income, and savings. “Eventually, those savings are going to be thinned out, and that’s when we’ll see more people coming back to work,” Boulger says.
• Some are relying on unemployment benefits. “That’s not the whole answer,” Laura Brennan, of the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, says. “We cannot blame this all on unemployment benefits.” But many of those benefits ended in September and October. “We expected that people would be beating down our doors,” Boulger said. “It’s been a slow trickle.” Read more about this story in the Berkshire Eagle.