The vast majority of Connecticut businesses responding to a new survey say theyâ€™re having trouble finding qualified workers. The surveyâ€™s authors warn the state faces a double demographic challenge.
Connecticut is seeing a decline in its young working population, just at the time that the baby boom generation prepares to retire.Â And according to this new study by the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, neither business nor state government is doing enough to address the problem.Â 82 percent of firms questioned said they were experiencing difficulty in finding qualified candidates â€“ most blamed the high cost of living in the state, with unaffordable housing the chief barrier.Â Many businesses also said the education system doesnâ€™t do enough to prepare students for the job market, and Connecticutâ€™s aging transportation system affects workersâ€™ mobility.Â CBIA economist Peter Gioia says there needs to be a response from public and private sectors alike.
"It really is a broad call and a broad challenge I think for the educational establishment.Â But it also shows that even if the educational establishment does their job, if we donâ€™t have more affordable housing for workers, and we donâ€™t have some more efforts on our transportation system, even a good education effort may be somewhat for naught."
Businesses say the tight labor supply is already affecting their growth, and leading to higher overtime costs, and decreased production.