Livingston County feeling shift in hiring landscape into 2022

While January is normally a big month for job seekers, the pandemic has brought about an unprecedented shift in the hiring landscape.

Labor shortages in many industries in the state and Livingston County are expected to continue this year.

The county’s low unemployment rate can be misleading. Many county residents commute out of the county for higher paying jobs. Meanwhile, some county employers face a shortage of workers who often cannot afford the county’s high cost of living.

Suzy Murphy, Vice President of Staffing Operations at WSC Staffing, speaks on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 about trends in matching employers with those struggling to find employment.

Brighton-based recruitment agency WSC Staffing, which recently changed its name from Action Associates, continues to struggle to find enough candidates for the employers it helps recruit.

“In February 2020, when there was already a shortage, we were talking to between 200 and 250 applicants a day for a variety of jobs,” said agency vice president Suzy Murphy.

Nearly two years later, it has only rebounded to around 75 to 80 job applicants per day, after falling to 30 per day during the 2020 pandemic shutdowns, Murphy said.

“There will always be shortages. We still have so many jobs open in the county, not just in manufacturing, but also in education, warehousing.”

She said most job applicants live outside the county.

Pam McConeghy, chair of the Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce, discusses a job application with Nick Moots, 19, from Fowlerville, at a restaurant job fair at the chamber office Friday, January 14.

She said a few factors are at play, including people quitting their jobs due to concerns about COVID-19, vaccination mandates, low wages and unsatisfactory work environments.

She said younger workers are changing jobs the most and some older workers are retiring early.

“We see it in the under 30s. There’s a cultural shift, and young workers are saying, I can participate more in the gig economy and work together, not 9 to 5. They’re going to Lyft and Uber of cyber-currency mining. There are so many dot-com startups that these people are getting into.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *