Governor Laura Kelly immediately held a gathering with enterprise leaders throughout the state to debate the distinctive wants of Kansas’s enterprise neighborhood as we proceed to get well from COVID-19 and discover options to handle workforce shortages statewide.
“For the reason that begin of the pandemic, I’ve requested for knowledge and enter from consultants and stakeholders earlier than making important coverage choices,” Governor Kelly mentioned. “Right now’s dialogue is the primary of a number of I’ll maintain to find out the very best plan of action – for companies and for households – to scale back our state’s workforce shortages. I stay dedicated to supporting our companies and employees to rebuild a more healthy, stronger financial system following COVID-19.”
Along with listening to enterprise’s considerations, Governor Kelly mentioned different potential elements inflicting the present workforce shortages together with a number of that pre-date COVID-19 resembling low wages, socially-regressive insurance policies, well being care, and childcare:
- Kansas has one of many largest shares of employees who’re reliant on childcare and faculty. For instance, in Manhattan Kansas, 27% of workers are reliant on childcare and faculty to be able to have the flexibility to work.
- Many Kansans trying to reenter the workforce even have caregiving duties: this recession has disproportionately affected women who largely take up these duties.
- Kansas’ April 2021 unemployment price was almost again to pre-pandemic lows at 3.5%.
- In line with a 2017 article from “The Wichita Eagle,” Kansas’ workforce scarcity points started lengthy earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic entered our state.
- The Federal Reserve experiences that Kansas labor pressure participation price is presently barely greater than it was for all of 2019, which means that extra individuals are working and on the lookout for work than earlier than the pandemic started.
- At present, 33,000 individuals are receiving enhanced advantages in Kansas – however the state has 57,000 present job vacancies. If each unemployed Kansan instantly entered the workforce, there would nonetheless be job vacancies.
- An article from “The Wichita Eagle” signifies that labor allocation and wages, disruption from the pandemic, friction round sorts of out there jobs, and the retirement of older employees are the principle causes for ongoing workforce shortages, quite than prolonged federal unemployment advantages.
- In line with an article in “The Kansas City Star,” younger individuals in Kansas are pursuing profession alternatives in different states which have embraced insurance policies like Medicaid enlargement, medical marijuana, and variety and inclusion.
- In April, Governor Kelly and Lt. Governor David Toland heard from aviation leaders that the business is regaining stability and is able to rent extra staff – however are going through points discovering educated, certified employees.