Inflation and high cost of living are obstacles for both job seekers and employers

Rising living costs and record-high inflation pose challenges for both job seekers struggling to find well-paying jobs and employers struggling to fill vacancies.

Faced with labor shortages in certain sectors like crafts, employers need to get creative and incentivize people to broaden their horizons and take jobs out of reach.

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“There is definitely a labor shortage for these types of positions and this is our biggest challenge right now. Right now we have more vacancies than we have available,” said Jason Robertson of Clintar Commercial Services in London, Ontario.

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Robertson looked for more snow plows and machine operators for his company at the London and Area Work’ job fair in the White Oaks Mall on Tuesday. More than 45 employers from various sectors were at the fair to network with job seekers.

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Clintar is adding more part-time positions to give potential employees flexibility, Robertston said.

International students Himil Patel, left, and Dhrumil Patel say a lack of part-time jobs makes it difficult for them to find work that fits their schedules (Isha Bhargava/CBC)

The lack of part-time jobs has been the biggest obstacle for Himil and Dhrumil Patel, who are both international students at Fanshawe College. The two were at the job fair looking for a job that would fit their busy school schedule.

“It’s definitely hard to find a job, especially a part-time job,” Dhrumil said. “Education is also important, so we need to do both to be both financially and academically stable.”

The couple said most of the job openings they encounter are full-time only, so restaurant and retail jobs seem like the best option for them so they can focus on school while earning a living.

demand for higher wages

Roberston said the biggest concern he hears from workers is that hourly wages are not enough. And the current state of the economy limits employers in how much they can help, he said.

“These entry-level positions are sometimes the hardest to feel, so we’re trying to do what we can as a company, but at the same time we also have to stay competitive with our prices, so it’s kind of a catch-22 for us. ”

Sukhman Bath of aerospace manufacturer Diamond Aircraft has noticed a drop in applications for manufacturing jobs. She believes this is due to demand for higher-paying jobs.

Sukhman Bath, center, and her team at Diamond Aircraft network with job seekers at the London and Area Works job fair. (Isha Bhargava/CBC)

“People are moving abroad now more than ever,” said Bath. “The aircraft industry is booming a lot after the pandemic, so we’re hiring, but we also have a shortage of qualified candidates because they get more wages at bigger companies.”

In addition to providing more benefits to its employees, Diamond also offers internships for students from different educational backgrounds who want to gain work experience.

“We don’t push away experience and talent completely because we know not everyone has it. Some people have them from other countries, so working with them is a win-win for all of us,” she said.

No shortage of opportunities and competition

Daniela Martinez would like to work in human resources. She believes that job opportunities are plentiful and the market is quite competitive, describing it as a “war for talent”.

Although high living costs are the norm for Martinez, who arrived in London from Mexico in January, she has heard from many of her friends that their current wages do not reflect inflation, she said.

“It’s challenging, but I think you need to keep looking to get more income,” she said.

Sally Amini came to London from Iran three months ago. She’s determined to get a job that will get her foot in the door. (Isha Bhargava/CBC)

Sally Amini finds that while competition in the job market makes it difficult for newcomers like her to get a job, it’s not impossible, she said. However, Amini believes employers need to be more flexible with their job requirements.

“They want someone with a background and experience, so people don’t turn in their CVs, but if employers can give them a chance for a couple of months of training, maybe those people have the potential to thrive and excel,” she says added.

Both Amini and Martinez say they’re open to any type of job that gets them a foot in the door, and if those jobs don’t make ends meet, they’d take an extra job.

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