Chamber News

Workforce Report | Doing the Math

February 16th, 2023

Last month, I shared some of the trends and topics we are following thus far into the new year.  With job openings in Ohio still outpacing the number of unemployed people in the State, business leaders are finding it more challenging to find qualified candidates to fill critical roles.

As of January 30, 2023:


Total Jobs Available in Ohio


Over $50K Salary



This issue of too few workers is not a product solely of the pandemic, but is one that has been in the making for years here in the U.S. and abroad. An article from the Washington Post, dated June 5, 2018 reads:

“For the first time on record, the number of job openings in the U.S. exceeds the number of unemployed Americans — a trend that may soon give workers more leverage to demand pay raises.

With employers struggling to fill openings, the number of available jobs in April rose 1 percent to 6.7 million from 6.6 million in March, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That’s the most since records began in December 2000.

Regionally, the largest increases in available jobs in April were in the Midwest and West. Open jobs in the Northeast and South barely changed.”

In fact, in the EMSI 2021 Report The Demographic Drought, How the approaching sansdemic will transform the labor market for the rest of our lives, shares that:

“The US is suffering the beginning phases of a great sansdemic—“without people,” or in our case “without enough people”—a demographic drought that is projected to worsen throughout the century and will impact every business, college, and region.”

Businesses must focus on retaining current employees, not just hiring, with a keen focus on keeping older workers on the job. The Labor Force participation rate in Japan for people over age 65 has risen to 25% in recent years, as a result of talent teams working hard to provide resources and incentives for more seasoned employees.

In the years ahead, the US will need to move toward similar integration of older workers. In less than 13 years, the number of adults aged 65+ is projected to surpass the number of children under 18 in the US. This presents challenges for HR and recruitment—especially at a time when health concerns and family commitments (such as providing childcare to adult children’s children) have driven older workers out of the workplace.

Kelly Fuller 
Vice President of Talent & Workforce Development