Alabama job market, labor shortages expected to expand in 2022

If you want a job right now, you should have no trouble finding one.

At least, that’s the general consensus among Alabama economic experts and local business leaders.

“NOW HIRING” signs posted in front windows and hung from awnings across the state back up the claim, as does the most recent data from the Alabama Department of Labor.

November 2021 figures show 28,657 more online job openings than unemployed in the state, meaning if every unemployed person were to get one of the available jobs in the state, there would be nearly 30,000 left. Jobs.

While those numbers will never line up exactly, experts like Ahmad Ijaz of the University of Alabama say that gap will likely widen as the unemployment rate declines and the economy continues to grow in 2022.

Now hiring on Perry Hill Road in Montgomery, Ala. on Tuesday, January 11, 2022.

“If you look at the employment numbers, we’re constantly adding jobs in almost every industry,” Ijaz said. “When the economy comes out of a recession, there is always a mismatch between the skills and jobs available. We could be going through this phase now.

When it comes to getting the state’s economy back to its pre-pandemic state of record unemployment and record wages, the job opportunities are there, but where is the workforce?

Health hires shadow hospitals

Few labor shortages compare to those in hospitals. The nursing shortage plagued Alabama for years before being exacerbated by early retirements, increased national competition for salaries and the so-called “Great Resignation” over the past two years.

Don Williamson, President and CEO of the Alabama Hospital Association, speaks as Senator Doug Jones holds a listening session on possible Medicaid expansion and other medical cost issues at Alabama Hospital Association in Montgomery, Alabama on Friday, August 24, 2018.

“If you have a nurse who wants a job in Alabama, she can get a job. From the perspective of people getting into nursing, this is absolutely the employee market,” said Dr. Don Williamson, president and CEO of the Alabama Hospital Association. “They will be able to find employment in almost any setting they wish to seek employment.”

Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates show nearly 20% or half a million American health care workers have left the field since the pandemic began, and Williamson said many of those were Alabamians.

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