Where is the Labor in the South?

Southern Business & Development has written many times about the issue of a lack of labor and job creation in the U.S., and specifically in the South. SB&D was one of the first media outlets in the nation to sound the alarm that the labor shed in the South was dissipating at rates no one — not even the experts — could predict. We explained that demographics were front and center and responsible for the tight labor market. In short, too many people are aging out of the workforce and too few are being born. It’s that simple. It’s not politics. You could make it political, but really, it is just math.

Sign of the times

The hospitality industry is facing a severe labor shortage. Fast food outlets and others are forced to compete with unemployment benefits to recruit workers. In response, McDonald’s is offering a $500 bonus to new staff, Wendy’s gives them $100 and Chipotle increased pay to $15 an hour. One McDonald’s in Arlington, Va., is offering a $500 sign-on bonus. Wendy’s is offering $100 signing and referral bonuses to some new hires, in addition to same-day pay.

As we have written numerous times, the U.S. and Southern employers are finding themselves in a “skills gap,” yet Read More

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