The latest employment data for Northwest Florida continues to show how tight the labor market is. In most cases, the total number of unemployed workers is about 20% lower than the same time period in 2017 -- while our unemployment rates are between 2.4% - 3.0% across the Panhandle. In Pensacola proper, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics
, there are just over 700 currently unemployed workers across all skill sets.
The outlook for 2019 looks to further complicate the hiring market locally as a recent National Survey
stated, "hiring intentions remain robust especially in Leisure & Hospitality (+27%) as more Americans plan to spend for travel and tourism." "Additionally, Professional & Business Services are projected to have the third strongest Outlook (+25%) for a business segment, which will drive the need for workers from insurance to information technology."
Will you be hiring in early 2019? Check out these great strategies below:
- Plan early and determine your hiring strategy in 6 month increments. Due to the compression in the labor market, setting a strategy that looks out further may impede your eventual success. You should be prepared to alter your hiring practices and goals to stay aligned with the changes in the market.
- Conduct a market analysis and benchmark your current wages, benefits, and incentive plans against other companies that hire to the same skills you will be hiring to. It’s important to not limit your analysis to just your industry, since many workers have transferable skills that may fit across several different industry types.
- Build an internal succession plan that includes training and skill development. With a very limited unemployed population, successful companies need to focus on building the knowledge and skills of their current staff so they are not dependent on attracting workers from outside their organization to fill strategic roles. By lowering the skill requirements necessary on the front end of the hiring process, and training the higher-level skills, companies can build retention and loyalty while filling open positions more easily.