It’s not about finding workers; it’s about finding the right workers.
According to the latest supplemental survey from the New York Fed’s manufacturing and business leaders surveys, employers in the New York area are facing two main problems: finding workers who can show up on time and workers who can hold a conversation.
The survey showed that in April, 65% of manufacturing employers had difficulty finding punctual workers and 60% had trouble finding workers with interpersonal skills.
Among business leaders, a broader survey group, 42% had trouble finding punctual workers while about 48% had trouble finding workers with interpersonal skills.
These results also play into a theme we’ve been hammering on: As the labor market improves, employers won’t have trouble finding workers, but will have trouble finding the right workers.
And this survey highlights another trend in the labor market: wage growth.
Some 77% of businesses in the New York area expect that they will increase wages over the next year, up from 71% a year ago. But the big change is in employers who are expecting to give workers big raises, as 15% of employers expect to raise wages by 4% or more, up from 8% a year ago.