Economy Creates Workforce Trends

by Kelly Choate on January 5, 2012 at 5:27 am

The unstable economy is creating new trends in the workforce, and some of those changes can be seen in southeastern Ohio.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, men are claiming more than two-thirds of the private-sector jobs in a nation that nearly had a majority-female workforce.  Economists say more men are finding themselves in retail, an industry once dominated by women.  Muskingum County Opportunity Center Supervisor Bob Mercer said he sees a shift in the attitude of job seekers.

"I think part of it is that people have been on unemployment for as long as 99 weeks, and I think the more time you spend on unemployment, you probably start to understand that you need to maybe reinvent yourself and look at a job that might get you closer to starting over again," said Mercer.

Mercer said a lot of people are adjusting their lifestyles and spending less money to take jobs that pay lower salaries.  He said more seniors are retiring later in life, and they’re also coming out of retirement to work part-time positions.

"I think that there are people who are retired and come back into the workforce because of the fear of not having enough money, but I think a lot of them just want to keep busy and continue to work, and it’s something totally different than what they did before," said Mercer.

Mercer said he expects to see the local unemployment rate rebound as oil and gas drilling companies move into our area.