COVID-19 Main Driver Of Employment Changes In Mo Workforce Report

The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) released new statewide employer survey results to correspond with its 2020 Missouri Economic & Workforce Report, which was published earlier this fall.

The Economic & Workforce Report tracks the state’s economy and workforce by fiscal year.

This year the survey was delayed several months to ensure maximum employer participation and to gather feedback regarding the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on Missouri’s workforce. Responses were gathered from Missouri companies with five or more employees – 400 employers located in metro areas and 290 from non-metro areas of the state.

The data show that 58 percent of employers said that COVID-19 was the main driver for significant increases or decreases in employment. During the next year, however, 56 percent of employers expect staffing levels to remain the same as this year.

Sixty-two percent of businesses report concerns about the workforce becoming ill, while 60 percent have experienced supply chain disruptions. The survey found that one-in-four respondents said COVID-19 was a barrier to expanding employment, but a shortage of workers with knowledge and skills continues to be the largest barrier to expansion.