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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Where have all the workers gone?

The single biggest problem California small businesses face: a shortage of labor.

A whopping 98% of small business owners in the Golden State say hiring difficulties affect their bottom line. poll published this morning Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Voices. That’s a lot more than the 81% who point to inflation, the 77% who cite supply chain problems, and the 70% who see rising COVID-19 cases as a barrier to their income.

The news comes as there are glimmers of improvement in California’s economy, with the unemployment rate falling to 6.5% in December from a revised 7% in November as employers added 50,700 jobs, the state’s Employment Development Department said Friday. That accounts for more than a quarter of the nation’s total job growth this month, prompting Gov. Gavin Newsom to issue a statement praising California’s “oversized” role in job creation.

But the numbers obscure what Michael Bernick, a former director of EDD and an attorney for law firm Duane Morris, calls the “main storyline” in California: “the disappearance of the workforce.”

Bernick: “The number of Californians registered as employed — in paid positions or as independent contractors — did increase by 116,900 in a month. However, this is still 919,800 fewer than the number of workers employed in California in January 2020, just before the pandemic.”

The state seems to be aware that the workers are disappearing. Newsom’s recent budget plan proposes new workforce development programs in addition to the more than 20 approved in last year’s budget. But a candid state legislature fiscal analyst raised questions about that approach in a presentation last week to the Senate Budget Committee: “Is it possible to do so much effort at the same time effectively? What specific problems does the state strive to solve with all these efforts?

Meanwhile, omicron continues to wreak havoc on the California workforce. Some long-term care facilities, which house some of the state’s most vulnerable residents, are so understaffed that they rely on COVID-positive staff to care for patients, according to CalMatters’ Kristen Hwang. Although COVID has exacerbated the shortage of staff in nursing homes, it has not created it.

Claire Enright, Human Resources Specialist for the California Association of Medical Institutions: “I’ve been a long-term care nurse for over 25 years and there’s never been a time when we didn’t have a Help Wanted sign. in one form or another.”

The problem is so acute that the federal government on Friday committed $103 million to improve healthcare worker retention through programs to combat burnout and promote wellness and mental health. The four California providers will receive a total of $8.7 million.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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