Some U.S. companies are finding it easier to hire help, after a rough few years.
- Employers in hospitality, retail, healthcare, and other industries hardest hit by worker shortages over the past two years say they are seeing emerging signs that hiring workers—and getting them to accept jobs when offered—is becoming less of a challenge, even as the overall job market remains tight.
- The national hospital chain HCA Healthcare Inc., which struggled to find enough nurses and other workers throughout the pandemic, says hiring is up and turnover is down.
- At Uber Technologies Inc. more people are signing up to work as drivers or food couriers. Marriott International Inc. meanwhile, says it is seeing steady improvement in its hiring, with wage increases slowing too, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Why it’s news
Many corporate leaders say challenges remain as the market still favors workers over employers, but the worst of the obstacles appears to be over.
“We are not running around with our hair on fire, if you will, anymore,” says MGM Resorts International CEO Bill Hornbuckle, though he added that it is hard to hire for certain positions such as housekeepers and cooks.
The economy has slowly made up the number of jobs lost in and during the pandemic, and demand for workers is steadily rising. In November, employers added 272,000 jobs, a big jump from what was expected, and the unemployment rate fell to a low 3.7%. There are signs that workers are also accepting jobs faster, economists say, reducing some of the burdens for companies looking to fill positions.
“For the people who are looking for work right now, they’re very willing to take it, and that’s why you’re seeing high levels of payroll growth,” says Indeed economist Nick Bunker.
Fears of a recession and inflation also seem to be key factors in keeping some workers in their existing jobs, economists and executives say, leading to a drop in turnover in some industries. The rates of quitting in both hospitality and retail have fallen in recent months from peaks earlier in the pandemic, Mr. Bunker says, though they remain elevated historically.