Help-wanted signs are still abundant throughout the region with plenty of employers looking for workers to fill open positions. 

And that’s not likely to change anytime soon. 

Conservatively, 200,000 or more workers died during the pandemic, the voluntary quit rate has been running about 25% higher than prior to the pandemic, and some are estimating that 1.6 million people have been forced to take off or work less because they’re suffering from ongoing health issues as a result of long COVID-19 ? which the CDC has estimated has impacted one out of five adults. 

The thinner supply of workers has resulted in employers paying more to fill positions, meaning that businesses capable of providing better wages and benefits have been in a lot better position to fill vacancies than those involved in lower-paying jobs in retail, foodservice and hospitality, for example.

“I think the labor market has improved, but it’s a mixed bag,” said Jeff Rea, president and CEO of the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce. “The businesses paying competitive wages and benefits are having a lot fewer difficulties than those offering less.”

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