They’re everywhere.

Help wanted; positions open; all shifts; pay starts at $14 to $15 per hour to start.

It’s a nationwide phenomenon as the economy is reopening after the COVID 19 pandemic .

KGVO’s Talk Back program hosted three professionals from S.G. Long and Company to discuss the issues surrounding the nation’s, the state’s and Missoula’s economy.

Josh Denny gave his take on the employment issue.

“As we ramp back up, that's where there's been a lot of difficulty in terms of hiring,” said Denny. “It could be driven by a variety of different factors. It could just be a timing mismatch, and we might get there in a matter of months. But currently, as we sit here today, it's that kind of service arena where job vacancies seem to be prevalent, and also they seem to sort of stay open for much longer than they would have pre COVID.”

Denny said with so many new people discovering they can live anywhere and still do their jobs remotely that it’s setting up a whole new employment paradigm. These people already have good jobs, so they won’t be applying for service jobs.

“All of those regions that accepted all those new people have even created additional stress on their employment shortage situation because now there's more demand, but there's no additional supply in terms of employees. So it just sets up an interesting sort of paradox for that particular locale,” he said.

Denny provided some eye-opening statistics.

“The percentage of the U.S. economy in terms of GDP that's considered to be the service sector is almost 77 percent,” he said. “Compare and contrast that to agriculture, for example, which is now less than one percent of GDP. If you look back a number of decades that relationship would be very different.”

Denny also shared the sheer numbers on America’s service sector.

“The size of the service sector in dollar terms is about $15.5 trillion dollars, so it's massive,” he said. “As I alluded to a little before, the service sector is not just bars, restaurants, hotels, etc. It also includes a lot of professional services, healthcare workers, those sorts of things. So there nuances to those big flashy numbers, but all the same, it's become a gigantic part of what the US economy is.”

 

Hear the entire program by clicking the link above.

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