Monday, 10 May 2021 21:13

New Jersey Businesses Struggling to Find Workers to Keep Economic Recovery Going, According to Reports

Written by Kim Jarrett, The Center Square
Crops are harvested Nov. 8, 2020, at a farm in Columbus, NJ. Crops are harvested Nov. 8, 2020, at a farm in Columbus, NJ.


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From the farm to the shore, a labor shortage is posing a new threat to New Jersey’s economy, according to economists.

The April jobs report from the National Federation of Independent Businesses shows 44% of small business owners say they have job openings that are unfilled. The report sets another record for unfilled job openings for small businesses.


The tight labor market is another challenge New Jersey businesses are facing as the state reopens.


“The inability of business owners to hire staff is having a huge impact on the approaching summer tourist season,” said NFIB New Jersey State Director Eileen Kean. “Main Street shops are breathing a sigh of relief because they can open, and are simultaneously taking a step backward because there are zero responses to help wanted ads. Suddenly the promising summer season seems less hopeful.”


The labor shortage is also affecting New Jersey farmers, according to Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher.


“They’re not getting the help they need,” Fisher said. “And in fact for instance, yesterday I was on a farm where the farmer has asparagus and he’s basically not going to be able to get it cut because he doesn’t have enough workers.”


U.S. manufacturers also report having a hard time finding workers, according to a report released this week by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute. Unemployment is low, but manufacturers said it’s 36% harder to find workers now than it was in 2018.


The shortage will lead to...

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