For many job seekers, this year has the one to find employment that pays considerably better than the same job in pre-pandemic days.
For employers, it was a time of teeth-gnashing effort to find the workers they needed, and open up the wallet for higher starting pay, raises and boosted benefits.
Next year, experts say, the short reign of labor will begin to shift a bit. With the economy expected to enter the year in the doldrums, the balance between workers and employers is expected to shift as the gap between jobs and the workers needed to fill them narrows.
Here are five things experts are saying about the 2023 job market in the Akron-Canton area and beyond:
Many Ohio manufacturers will still be seeking help.
Barbara Bennett, vice president of education and workforce at the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, says some employers had to relax hiring standards this year to get the workers they needed. Eight Stark County manufacturers she works with had more than 200 openings to fill recently.
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Bennett expects area manufacturing job opportunities will remain abundant next year, but not at the level of 2022.
The big wage and benefit gains seen this year will diminish as employers adjust to a slowing economy.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, wages and salaries increased 5.1% from Sept. 2021 to Sept. 22. Although wages failed to keep pace with inflation, many companies were stressed by rising labor costs. Entry-level workers, though, were often hiring in at hourly rates far above federal and state minimum wage levels.
There are lots of opportunities in the Akron-Canton area for jobs in health care and education.
The teacher shortage has been around for years, but it's expected to continue next year as fewer students seek education majors in college. Openings in health care abound, with unvaccinated employees taken out of the mix at area hospitals and nurses always in short supply.
A University of Akron economist said Northeast Ohio education and health care employment is still about 46,000 short of pre-pandemic levels.
Smaller companies will continue to struggle to find employees, while big companies face the same challenge.
Natasha Pollock, vice president of Human Resources for the Timken Co., said the Jackson Township-based company is adapting to the changing conditions. Among the initiatives: The company offers programs to help new employees navigate the career path they want.
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The labor market next year will vary, with layoffs in some industries and unfilled openings in others.
Some big employers like Amazon and PepsiCo have announced layoffs already, along with several big tech companies.
Leave a message for Alan Ashworth at 330-996-3859 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @newsalanbeaconj.
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: 5 things you need to know about the Akron-Canton job market in 2023