According to the US Census Bureau, there are 19,142 businesses in the Wilmington, Delaware area. Some of these companies are small. Some are large. Some sell machine parts. Some sell software. Some provide legal services. Some provide eyecare.
Regardless of the size of the business or what it sells, all of these local companies have one thing in common: they are struggling to fill open jobs with qualified candidates. This is true in Wilmington as well as Edgemoor, New Castle, Elsmere, Pennsville, and every point in between.
Right now, across the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 10.9 million open jobs. This is an all-time record.
To put this mammoth number of open jobs in perspective, the Federal Reserve says there are now five job openings per every four unemployed people.
Attempting to recruit Wilmington workers from the ranks of the unemployed has proven fruitless for local companies. This is because many people who lost their jobs during the pandemic have no intention of returning to the workforce anytime soon.
There are several reasons so many Wilmington workers are not coming back.
First, older workers have opted to retire earlier than expected. Second, childcare issues are making it necessary for some parents to stay home. Third, other workers cite health safety issues for the reason why they chose not to work. Finally, some of the unemployed are choosing to live off the savings they amassed during the pandemic.
So rather than focusing recruitment efforts among former employees and the ranks of the unemployed, local business owners need to target the 324,119 passive job seekers in Wilmington.