Pop quiz: Which state has the highest unemployment rate? And, which state has the lowest unemployment rate? We’ll get to those answers later.
If your business espouses a social conscience, here is a broader, more relevant question: How can you help reduce your state’s unemployment rate?
Before diving into some of the contemporary discourse on reducing unemployment, know that the national jobless rate has steadily declined since its peak at 10 percent in October of 2009. As of February this year (2017), it stood at 4.7 percent, compared to 4.9 percent last October, per the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. One of the state’s shadowing these national numbers most closely is Michigan, where construction has proven to be one of the driving forces behind jobs growth, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The supposition is that whatever businesses have been doing over the past eight years, it hasn’t exacerbated unemployment. But, as we all know, the U.S. economy can pivot on the turn of a mortgage crisis, a Wall Street calamity, or even an election. In other words, even when unemployment is comparatively minimal, it is socially responsible to keep chipping away at the causes of unemployment and building on the pillars of full or nearly full employment.
In this vein, following are some commonly agreed upon steps your business can adopt to mitigate unemployment in general.
Engage in Academia
Pursue an open dialogue with educational and technical institutions in your region or state. Let them know what you are looking for in the way of expertise now and as far as you can see into the future. Educators need such info as they develop and plan their curricula. Sometimes, it may take a partnership of businesses so educators can better aggregate their focus toward your industry or niche. Vice versa: Educational entities can partner toward the common goal of cultivating the employees of today and tomorrow.
Provide Leadership as Mentors
Successful businesses can take a leadership role in the full employment effort. Delegate some willing supervisors, trainers, and executive officers to speak to institutions of higher learning or technical trade schools on such topics as graduate placement programs and where your industry is headed in terms of job skills.
When not collaborating with education, send your experts into the field of seminars or even as invitees when smaller startups or nascent businesses ask established, successful businesses like yours for advice and guidance.
Invest in Continuous Employee Education
By budgeting for your employees’ continuing education, you are investing in the future of workers in general.
If an employee reaches an apex within their current job description, consult with that employee to see where he or she may want to take his or her career within your organization. Preen employees for a promotion or wider authority by remaining in touch with industry institutions, training centers, universities, and agencies that offer training and development in new or higher skills.
Keep the door revolving. By doing so, you are doing not only your entire industry or genre of business a favor, but also your employee, whether you are located in New Mexico or New Hampshire. By the way, those are currently the states with the highest and lowest unemployment rates, respectively, in the nation.
March 23, 2017
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