OhioMeansJobs hosts Career Expo

OhioMeansJobs hosts Career Expo
Dan Starcher

Brittany Crayden, left, of OhioMeansJobs Wayne County, and Job and Family Services Director Richard Owens talk to a visitor to their booth at the recent Career Expo.


“There are more jobs than job seekers,” Job and Family Services Director Richard Owens said at the OhioMeansJobs Career Expo held at Wayne College recently.

There are various reasons people have left the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many opt not to return. Before the pandemic, many U.S. workers were female, and they quit working to care for their children while the world was on lockdown.

“Once you factor in the annual cost of childcare,” Owens said, “you will chew up about $8,000 of your income.”

He said the initial requirements for childcare benefits are so low and starting wages are so high that people are simply not eligible for childcare benefits. Another limiting factor is the availability of in-home childcare service providers.

“In Wayne County we used to have about two-dozen home (childcare) providers,” he said. “Currently, we are down to around six.”

In a recent conversation with Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, Owens said the Lt. governor explained that about three jobs paying more than $50,000 per year are available to each person in the OhioMeansJobs unemployment database, and there are nearly 250,000 total jobs available.

According to Greater Ohio Workforce Board Executive Director John Trott, the labor shortage is not going away anytime soon.

"It is better to talk about this as a generational problem," Trott said during a presentation at the expo. “The thing you are experiencing is a global trend.”

According to Trott, the lack of people participating in the workforce has been a problem in the making for years.

Trott discussed some of the prepandemic issues affecting labor shortages:

—Smaller family sizes.

—Slower population growth.

—Less male participation in the workforce.

—Older, financially stable people choose to retire.

Nontraditional work, known as “gigs” or “side hustles,” has become very attractive to those possessing the skills and desire for a more flexible work-life balance.

“The great resignation resonates with people,” Trott said. “And the data bears it out. In 2021 the number of people that quit working was very high. These are not people losing jobs; these are people that just quit working. The department of labor started tracking these numbers 20 years ago, and this is the highest we have seen them.”

Visit www.ohiomeansjobs.ohio.gov to view open positions.

Dan Starcher is a public communications specialist for the Wayne County government.

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