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Study: Top Priorities for New York Job Seekers and Businesses

September 15, 2023

Flexibility in their job is the number one priority for employees, while attracting new employees and retaining current workers remain the top challenges for businesses, according to the results of the 2023 New York Department of Labor workforce study.

In the survey, businesses report they are struggling to attract workers and say that competition for a limited talent pool is driving the market. Attracting new workers, retaining current workers, fears of inflation and increased regulations on businesses are top concerns of employers in New York state. There is also a major need for skilled trades awareness and training.

In their survey, workers looking for jobs say paid time off, health insurance, and higher pay remain high priorities, though this year, for the first time, “ability to work remotely full-time” is a top incentive for them as well.

Workers have preference for online training, virtual workshops and job fairs, and one-on-one career guidance.

The annual survey, done in partnership with Empire State Development and the New York State Business Council, seeks to understand the needs of both workers seeking employment and employers in a post-pandemic economy. The survey elicited responses from more than 2,400 businesses and 8,200 individuals.

About 14% of workers participating are seeking jobs in finance and insurance while 3% of employers are in this sector.

Healthcare and social assistance (29%), public administration (24%), arts and entertainment (19%), education (19%), retail (17%) and information services (15%) are some of the other industries being targeted by job seekers.

The top positions employers in the state say they are having trouble filling include teachers, laborers, commercial transport drivers, administrative, sales and accountants.

Most businesses are looking to maintain or increase their physical footprint, while three-quarters of businesses statewide report they are not considering implementing any form of digital automation.

The survey reports results by business sector and regions of the state as well as statewide.

“In the wake of the economic uncertainty generated by the pandemic, many businesses report that they continue to struggle with filling open positions,” said New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we use what we’ve learned from this collaborative survey to understand the changes that have occurred in the labor market and develop effective strategies to match people to careers.”

Topics New York Talent

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