Misery loves company: Companies nationwide struggle to fill open spots
Some parts of the region are among the lowest in unemployment rates.
| 2:45 p.m. April 28, 2021
Data regarding job openings in Florida and nationwide is a bit jarring. To wit:
• More than four of 10, 42%, of business owners reported job openings that couldn’t be filled in March — an all time high, according to the latest monthly report from the National Federation of Independent Business. The March tally is also 20 points higher than the 48-year historical average of 22%;
• A net 28% of business owners reported raising compensation, up three points from February and the highest level in the past 12 months, the report shows;
• More than one-third, 34%, have openings for skilled workers, up 1 point from the previous month, while 19% have openings for unskilled labor, up 3 points;
• More than half the survey respondents, 51%, and 91% of those hiring or trying to hire, reported few or no “qualified” applicants for the positions they were trying to fill in March.
On the west coast of Florida, meanwhile, the problem is compounded by an already low unemployment rate — many of the people who want to work already are working. Five of the six metro areas on the Gulf Coast are among the regions with the lowest unemployment rates statewide. Only Lakeland-Winter Haven, in Polk County, has an unemployment rate in the top half of the state, at 5.6% in March, according to Florida Department of Economic Opportunity data. The Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island MSA is tied for the lowest unemployment rate in the state in March, at 4%, while the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton region is tied for the No. 2 lowest rate, at 4.4%.
Read more about how the service industry is struggling to find workers: