What causes labor shortages for small businesses in Birmingham?
Labor shortage = big problems across the country. How hard, you ask? Well, in a study by Alignable it was reported that 60% of small businesses in the United States still cannot find workers to fill vacancies. It is also worth mentioning: smallbiztrends found that the United States small businesses lost 120,000 jobs only in April 2022, due to difficulties in maintaining rising operating costs and competitive wages. Meanwhile, medium and large enterprises have a total profit of 247,000 jobs.
We contacted the Alabama Economic Development Partnership (EDPA) and the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) to take a closer look at this national issue through a local lens. Why are there currently 26,000 jobs in our area?
The main conclusions:
- The labor market is HOT– the talent fund is competitive and jobseekers are ready to change companies if necessary for better work and quality of life.
- Birmingham’s labor force participation rate is lower than the national average, which experts say could be due to healthcare, childcare and access to transport.
- The continuing problems with the pandemic and the supply chain are bad news for the search for the best, personal talent.
“Talent has been an important issue for businesses in Alabama, large and small, for years, but it has become even more urgent with the ongoing pandemic, supply chain problems and an increasingly remote workforce.
– Miller Girwin, Executive Vice President of Innovation and Talent, EDPA
Small business owners in Birmingham are talking
On our LinkedIn, we contacted small business owners in Birmingham to hear exactly how they have been affected by labor shortages.
The majority said the biggest problem was finding employees. This result was not a big surprise, considering that we have seen companies like Great Harvest Bread Co. in Trusville list labor shortages as one of the reasons for their closure.
There have been a number of closures of local small businesses, including:
We have also seen delayed openings / reopens, such as:
“We hope to reopen Highlands as soon as we have enough team members. We are looking for bartenders, waiters, server assistants and managers. Pardis and I and all our staff are eager and excited to reopen the Highlands. ”
– Frank Stitt, owner and chef, Highlands Bar & Grill
Resources to address labor shortages
If you are a business owner who feels the pressure of these constraints, we have a few resources to share – all to alleviate the labor crisis and help small businesses in Birmingham thrive.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community. Every business needs to start somewhere, which is why the BBA is dedicated to helping businesses start, grow and thrive in our community. From reactivating our Chamber of Commerce to our hands-on educational programming, our team is waking up every day ready to support small business in Birmingham.
–Emily Jerkins Hall, President and Chief Operating Officer, BBA