A survey of Northeast Ohio employers and workers aims to shed light on hiring struggles

A new survey on the labor force in Northeast Ohio aims to find out why employers have struggled to hire since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The “Where Are the Workers?” survey will seek insights from employers and working-age adults in two phases.

It asks companies about how hiring has changed since early 2020. A link to the survey is available on the Fund for Our Economic Future’s website.

“We’re really hoping to learn more about what’s going on with people and their desire to connect with work,” Fund President Bethia Burke said. “There are a lot of ideas out there about what somebody is thinking when they do or don’t take a job, but we don’t really know because we haven’t asked.”

Other workforce and research outfits participating in the project include the think tank PolicyBridge, economic development group Team NEO, Summit & Medina Workforce Area Council of Governments and ConxusNEO, an Akron-based workforce development organization.

A survey of working-age adults is planned for January, as are focus groups with employers and potential workers, Burke said. The project will gather perspectives across industries and skill levels in the Cleveland, Akron and Youngstown metropolitan areas.

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Sara McCarthy is the Fund's Director of Communications.