Higher Wages Will Not Solve This Problem

Job market headline under magnifying glassMaybe you’ve seen the signs on doors, billboards and even television ads – Help Wanted! All types of businesses – retail, manufacturing, services – are bemoaning the shortage of applicants.

Last October, this Star Tribune article suggested that if Mankato businesses would pay higher wages, it would solve the worker shortage problem.

However, this belies what state demographers have been warning for years – our labor pool is shrinking because of Baby Boomer retirements, the migration rate isn’t high enough to offset aging, the birth-death ratios and finally the working age demographic isn’t big enough to fill the vacancies. This MinnPost story gets to the heart of the problem and to potential solutions including businesses employing more technology. However, in the long run when the working age demographic does rebound at about 2030 and we have a labor pool big enough, the next predicament we face is…will there be enough jobs available?

One Comment on “Higher Wages Will Not Solve This Problem

  1. A combination of solutions, including increasing the number and diversifying the type of professional jobs available to bring in and retain more families in the area, employing more technology to reduce costs and create additional value – and yes, increasing wages – would all likely help the Greater Mankato area become a migration destination for non-Minnesotans, and even pull some talent down from the other metro areas in the state.

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