Industry Woes: Water industry struggles with both competitive hiring and retiring workforce

Aug 12, 2021

The national struggle to fill open jobs has added to existing concerns of replacing the large number of soon-to-be retirees for employers in the water industry.

More than 90% of the chambers of commerce across the nation report worker shortages holding back their economies, according to the United States Chamber of Commerce.

And the hiring struggle has not missed the Great Lakes region. Since the shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan has seen a significant drop in the labor force, making it more difficult to fill any open positions.

The state lost 250,000 workers from February 2020 to May 2021, said Mark Reffitt, an economist for the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

That’s about a 4.4% decline of the Michigan labor force, he said. The national drop was around 2.1%.

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