Theories on the labor shortage are complicated. What is crystal clear is there has been a widespread shortage of qualified workers in every field since the pandemic. There are eleven million job openings and only six million unemployed workers. Indeed lists 2,530 job openings for building maintenance alone in the DC area.
Office buildings were fully occupied pre-pandemic. We assumed if four people could run a building, then two could manage a building at half occupancy. Unfortunately, staff can get spread too thin.
Labor Force Participation
Edelberg from the DC-based Brookings Institution attributes the unprecedented decline in the national labor force participation to workers over fifty-five. The Brookings Institution is a public policy nonprofit that conducts in-depth research. Brookings concludes that during the pandemic, people had plenty of time to reevaluate their priorities and consider early retirement or collecting Social Security. The overall workforce is still 500,000 workers short of that age group alone.
Will Wage Increases Attract New Workers
Many industries have begun raising wages to bring in new employees. Statistics show the industries with the lowest pay offer the highest wage gains. For example, the hospitality industry’s hourly earnings increased by 8.6% compared to a year ago. That corresponds to a 5.2% increase for all workers. Corporations of all types are struggling to fill the gaps. Workers are tired and frustrated and rethinking what wages and work they are willing to do at this point. Many people are switching careers to make more money or find a job with less stress.
Changing Jobs During The Labor Shortage
Changing jobs during the labor shortage is becoming more commonplace. Overworking employees due to inadequate staffing can prompt employees to walk out on the spot. The last two years have worn employees, and employers, down.
The work-from-home business model has changed the mindset of virtually every facet of employment. You’ll be in an ever-changing environment every day if you’re interested in working in building maintenance. What does a building maintenance engineer do? Check out this article to get an idea of the requirements and certifications necessary for a career in facility management.
Importance Of Filling Facility Maintenance Gaps
Reduced occupancy has left facility maintenance gaps at an all-time high. To keep these facilities fully functional, it’s necessary to respond aggressively to the problems and needs of owners of commercial real estate, your tenants, and investors. With more people working remotely, offices are vacant, and many buildings are operating at 30-40 percent occupancy or lower.
Unfortunately, the essential everyday work orders aren’t diminished in the same increments. Maintenance needs to service boilers and maintain the grounds. Facility maintenance requires all building systems to have regularly scheduled maintenance to operate properly.
Companies have been desperately trying to fill employee job openings for more than a year. The eleven million job openings and only six million unemployed workers aren’t making it any easier. Many industry veterans have chosen retirement over stepping back into the job market.
Labor data shows that Americans that are employed, or searching for a job, is at 62.4%. That is a percentage point lower than when the pandemic started in 2020. At BMSI, we can help keep your commercial properties running smoothly while we ride out this tsunami of shortages and uncertainty. We can provide flexible maintenance assistance with mobile and stationary facility maintenance support. Call us to discuss where and when we can send you the support and help you need.