The 2 Simple Reasons Montana Businesses Can’t Fill Job Openings
My mom lives in a retirement community and they can't seem to keep house keepers, kitchen help or maintenance workers. If you look at those jobs, they all have one thing in common. They are traditionally low paying jobs. Their mantra for excusing the fact they don't have cooks or maids etc is "No one wants to work anymore." When the manager of the complex told me that, I told her that that's code for "We don't want to pay a living wage" in this post pandemic world. The housekeeping job there pays right around $11, and I think I'm being generous. I think it's closer to $10 something. Right now, at McDonald's you can make $13 an hour.
More job openings than workers
Post-Pandemic, Montana is rated in the top 5 for states that have more jobs to fill than workers to fill them. According to Wallethub and EBN, Montana is one of those states with too many openings and not enough workers.
What sorts of jobs are going unfilled the most? Some, I wasn't surprised at the least, Hospitality and retail. These are jobs where the pay is low and the customer to employee abuse ratio is high. However, the manufacturing, construction, transportation and health care was a bit of a surprise to me. These are generally higher than minimum wage jobs.
This is actually good news to workers
If you read through any of the articles I posted above, you hear company leaders pontificating on what they can do to take care of this problem the business world is having. And it is a problem, for them. (I put it in italics because this is a self inflicted wound.) Here's what the smart ones are concluding:
- Businesses need to offer a better pay and benefits package
- People are willing to take a job and then quit that job if the employer doesn't follow through with their side of the bargain, and a new job is easy to find
The businesses that continue to say things like, "Maybe they're living off all that extra money regular people got in the pandemic, but that's going to eventually run out, then they HAVE to come back and come back MY WAY." The empathy for these Corporations is virtually GONE. Nobody wants to hear your sob story. (And just how much money did THEY get in the pandemic? I don't know anyone with the exception of business owners that got enough to live off for an extended period of time.)
For over a hundred years in America, employers have had the upper hand on their employees and things have steadily declined for the American worker. Now, thanks to the pandemic in 2020, the tables are turning. Not so many people are willing to work literally 16 hours a day 7 days a week anymore.
If there's one GOOD thing that came from the pandemic, it's that people had a chance to actually REST and evaluate their lives, and their jobs.
So, the next time a business owner or manager tells you they're short staffed because "NoBoDy wAnTs To wOrK AnYmOrE", correct them. Tell them that Montana has more job openings than workers AND that the jobs that are paying $15 an hour and up are fully staffed. It's fun. Try it.