Social Work Paper on Labor Force Trends in Worcester

Labor Force Trends in Worcester

Studies have affirmed that thousands of workers have been disappearing from the labor force in Worcester metropolitan area (Welker, 2017). At the beginning of 2015, the labor force and employment surged but began declining at the middle of the year. In Worcester, the size of labor force is critical in representing those who are available for work to economically contribute to the development of the region.

Labor trends in an ongoing issue because the jobless rate stands at 4.7 percent with most employers complaining about the need for labor force (Lisa, 2016). In 2015, Bureau Labor Statistics revealed that Worchester area, a region with diverse communities gained more than 7,400 workers at the beginning of 2015 but later lost 9,400 workers in November the same year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018). It is a concern because the number of people walking in job centers to look for jobs has greatly diminished in the past 3 years. According to experts, the trend has been tracking downwards that is closely related to unemployment rate (Lisa, 2016). However, other researchers assert that the labor force is not shrinking, in fact, Worchester metropolitan area has been characterized by addition of jobs since 2009 (Welker, 2017).  In November 2015, Worchester region saw the employment of more than 284,500 (Welker, 2017). Further, experts reveal that overall, labor force fell to a historical low of 62.7 percent in United States in the year 2015, retirement of the old population and younger generation of people not interested in joining the labor markets have been the main causes (Balda, 2018). Similarly, it is reported that the working age population of the ages 25 and 54 have dropped tremendously overall (Balda, 2018).

Individuals over the age of 50 years have problems finding jobs because many of the positions are labor intensive and require advanced technological skills. The work place is volatile and gradually changing to accommodate many of the younger generations as compared to the old individuals. This is anchored on the fact that most of the younger generations are gradually matching the requirement of their jobs like technology and engineering. For that, the trend is likely not to favor people above 50 years in Worcester metropolitan area. The unemployment rate in Worcester is currently at 4 percent and the individuals over the age of 50 percent account for a greater percentage (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018). They are currently looking for work but cannot find positions that fit their skills and align with needs of different companies.

Significantly, many companies have reported that they are not finding enough people to fill positions created within. According to Benetta Kuffour who works in one of the job centers in Worcester main street, finding a permanent job at the age of 67 is nearly impossible due to lack of current skills and qualifications (Welker, 2017).  People of more than 50 years are currently not looking for jobs because they are tired of sending resumes with no responses. Workforces currently participating in the economy are those who recently graduated. The elderly have specific needs that may not align with requirements of companies. For example, Eddi-Jo, a job seeker and a mother of 6 year old child has struggled to secure employment that matches her parenting and transport needs (Welker, 2017).  Therefore, there is need to train the work force of over 50 years on skills and qualifications that are currently sought by employers in Worcester. Nonetheless, the few that have secured positions have been favored by their senior managerial experience that requires more expertise.

 

References

Balda James. (2018). “Senior living labor and workforce trend”. Argentum. Available at:

argentum.org/store. Retrieved April 12, 2018.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2018). Local area unemployment statistics. Bureau of Labor

Statistics: United States Department of Labor. Available at: https://www.bls.gov/lau/home.htm. Retrieved April 12, 2018.

Lisa Eckelbecker. (2016). Estimates of state, Worcester labor forces are not definitive. The

Telegram. Available at: http://www.telegram.com/article/20160112/NEWS/160119790. Retrieved April 12, 2018.

Welker Grant. (2017). Worcester unemployment more complex than one number. Worcester

Business Journal. Available at: http://www.wbjournal.com/article/20170529/PRINTEDITION/305269995/worcester-unemployment-more-complex-than-one-number. Retrieved April 12, 2018.