As the country battles the effects COVID-19 has left on the economy, leaders continue to be mystified by the resulting labor shortages. It’s become clear that the problem is far more complex than low hourly wages. The question remains: What do we do about workforce shortages and development in the wake of what the media calls “The Great Resignation”? Let’s look at why local workforce shortages continue to be an issue and how we can address the problem.
The State of the Declining Henderson Workforce
The current statistics in Henderson point to a very dynamic workforce. We have 2 million people that live within 50 miles of the city. 44% of the population is between the ages of 20 and 38. Our population is also growing by 1.8% annually, with 92.6% possessing a high school education or higher. We are workforce ready.
Unfortunately, the state of Nevada and the Las Vegas-Paradise-Henderson region has an unemployment rate that is far higher than the rest of the nation. This only seems to be getting worse. As of November 2021, the national unemployment rate was 3.9%. In our region, it sat at a jarring 6.3% and a declining rate of -1.9%. This is slower when compared to the national annual change of -2.5%. Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the nation, and it’s apparent that something needs to be done. However, we need to start addressing this problem locally for there to be change.
Why Is There a Workforce Shortage?
According to High Country News, many of the jobs available are temporary and have simply unsustainable wages. Despite record development and business-positive attitudes in the city, companies aren’t hiring. Skilled individuals find themselves as rideshare or delivery drivers if they work at all. People simply can’t support themselves on part-time jobs that don’t offer benefits or health care.
Addressing the Workforce Shortage and Development
Although the city is attracting big businesses like Google, we could be doing more in helping people find jobs. Removing barriers to employment and providing incentives for companies to hire is key. We must make sure that our population of employers and potential employees know about the resources available. EmployNV has a new hub located in City Hall and provides financial incentives for employers to hire. Employers can receive help with recruitment, candidate pre-screening and hiring – all at no cost to them. This puts the focus back on hiring and less on jammed phone lines to various state unemployment offices. As we continue to grow, I will take steps to help people find opportunities.
Although Nevada may currently have a low unemployment rate, Henderson’s GDP (gross domestic product) far outstrips nearby peer regions and has increased by more than 30% since 2011. As an ACT Work Ready county, we have proven that our residents not only want to work but are hardworking when they do. Let’s ensure Henderson’s future by electing those that will fight for it every step of the way. Contact Vote4TrishNash to learn more about my dedication to Henderson’s growth and job security.