Employers still struggle to attract and keep qualified workers, wage and benefits survey finds

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Even as some effects from the pandemic wane, employers still struggle to fill jobs, according to a new report on wages and benefits in the manufacturing and health care sectors. Despite taking steps such as increasing starting pay, employers report getting too few applicants, especially qualified applicants, for open positions.

The report was written by the Upjohn Institute’s Dakota McCracken, Val Gipper and Michael Horrigan based on survey research conducted by the Institute and its Michigan Works! Southwest in coordination with: Southwest Michigan First; Michigan Works! Berrien, Cass, Van Buren; Market Van Buren; and Cornerstone Alliance. The survey was conducted in the fall of 2022 in seven Southwest Michigan counties.

Employers also reported difficulty retaining workers. The report details steps they took to attract and retain workers during the pandemic and which of these changes they intend to make permanent.

Horrigan, the Upjohn Institute’s president, briefed local legislators on the survey results April 17 and presented the report in a media roundtable April 18. Download his presentation slides.

The report is titled “Southwest Michigan Wage and Benefits Survey: Van Buren, Kalamazoo, Calhoun, Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, and Branch Counties.”


Research Topics: Local Labor Markets