Companies Facing Nationwide Worker Shortage Population Not in Labor Force
This is the final factoid in a series of four factoids showing how labor shortages throughout the U.S. are fast becoming a real issue across all major industries. From farms to factories, employers are having a hard time finding both unskilled and skilled workers. The brick and mortar home furnishings industry is not immune to the worker shortage crisis facing American businesses.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics supports the growing need facing companies to attract and retain employees, while adapting their training methods and introducing technology that fills the gap of a smaller workforce.
Of the 37 percent of the civilian population over age 16 that are not in the labor force, only 5.4 percent actually want a job, but are just not actively looking for one. This figure represents 5.2 million Americans, down from 6.6 million in 2012, that want a job, but are not in the workforce.
The number of men not in the labor force as a percent of the total labor force has slowly increased over the last decade and beyond. In 2006, only 37.9 percent of those not in the labor force were men. Since then, the number has grown yearly – up to 40.3 percent in February (2018). Conversely, the number of Women as a percent of those not in the labor force is declining. They represent 59.7 percent of those not in the labor force, down from 62.1 percent in 2006.
Adding to the worker shortage is that the desire for a job is falling as those not in the labor force keeps climbing. The percent of people not in the labor force but still would like a job fell 6.6 percent last year, with women growing slightly more interested in working than men.
With many companies having a difficult time finding qualified employees, real concern is growing over worker shortage. Many older workers are retiring or choosing not to work and there are less young, not as qualified, workers to replace them. As a remedy, some industries are turning to robots, automation, and artificial intelligence to adapt to labor shortages. Through education, training, and pairing human skills with technology, companies may find ways to cope with a smaller labor force.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey
*Persons who want a job now are part of those not in the labor force but who are not actively looking for a job. Unemployment figures reflect those actively looking for a job.