How generational gap is contributing to the worker shortage

Posted at 6:47 AM, Jun 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-23 07:53:08-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — It’s Help Wanted Wednesday and the Fox 4 job board has tens of thousands of local job openings that companies are working to fill.

Part of the reason we're experiencing such a worker shortage goes beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Fox 4 spoke with CareerSource Southwest Florida to understand the issue.

CareerSource works with several business owners in the community to understand the factors contributing to this.

One of the biggest challenges has been something they were dealing with before the pandemic, which only made matters worse: generational gap.

Many baby boomers in the workforce were forced to retire early due to COVID, and younger generations aren't as interested in continuing the positions they're leaving behind.

“We are dealing with generational perception of what it's like to be in the workforce. Where we have the millennials more interested in gig work, for example. They have gotten used to it, COVID encouraged it, they want to stay, and they're not necessarily interested in doing the 9 to 5, Monday through Friday that mom and dad prior to them were following,” said Janeth P. Castrejon, Communications Manager at CareerSource Southwest Florida.

The gig work Castrejon referred to includes jobs like DoorDash. She said younger generations are attracted to the flexibility of this. For example, being able to deliver a few days a week, instead of a traditional 40-hour week, while still making a competitive wage.

She said business owners have to get caught up on emerging trends to meet the needs of a multi-generational workforce and fill all these positions.

If you are interested in applying for an open position and want help building your resume, there’s a free workshop at the CareerSource Clewiston location Wednesday morning. Details on this, and upcoming hiring events, can be found here.