AUGUSTA—The Department of Labor’s Center for Workforce Research and Information has posted its final installment ( http://cwri.blogspot.com/2015/09/difficult-to-fill-vacancies-what.html )in a series of blogs that analyze and discuss the findings of its 2014 Job Vacancy Survey ( http://cwri.blogspot.com/2015/02/job-vacancy-survey-provides-unique.html ).
“Maine’s workforce is changing, and we must ensure that businesses can find workers with the right skills,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Listening to employers will help us better target training programs and wisely use our limited resources. Good data helps us develop better policies to continuously improve the quality of our workforce and help Maine compete in the global economy.”
The Center found that, “Difficult-to-fill openings occurred in a broad spectrum of occupations from lower skill, lower wage to highly skilled, high wage. Employer responses suggest an equally wide range of strategies are needed to improve the match between applicants and job vacancies and reduce reported difficulty in hiring.”
Vacancies identified as difficult to fill, the Center stated, “were much more likely than other vacancies to have been open for more than 60 days. Compared to other vacancies, difficult-to-fill vacancies were: more likely to be full-time positions than part-time or per diem; less likely to be seasonal or temporary; more likely to require education beyond high school; more likely to require previous work experience greater than one year; and more likely than others to be in occupations with median wages from $10 to $19.99 per hour.”
The demand for workers is likely to increase with time as retiring workers exceed the number of younger people entering the work force. The 2014 job vacancy survey provides a baseline from which to measure these and other changes in Maine’s job market.
The department sent the 2014 survey to 3,400 Maine businesses selected at random within certain parameters to ensure that the survey was appropriately representative of Maine’s economic make-up. The survey asked employers whether they had job openings for which they were actively recruiting in the month of September and, if so, to briefly describe open positions and identify whether the positions are difficult to fill. Seventy percent of those surveyed responded. Of nearly 2,400 responses, 755 (31%) indicated they had one or more job openings.
The 2015 Job vacancy Survey is currently underway and will build upon the findings of this initial research. The department encourages employers who have been contacted to participate.
CWRI develops and disseminates information on employment, unemployment and wages; analyzes outcomes of education and training programs to guide decision-making; and develops industry and occupational employment forecasts designed to guide career planning and curriculum development. They work with a wide range of customers to provide context to the dynamics of the economy and the implications those have for workforce development. CWRI publishes a variety of data on Maine’s economy, workforce and demographics at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri .