In October 2017, the LAEDC released a report on economic development and the state of labor in Los Angeles County. This research highlights several noteworthy findings that will affect your service contracts:
- Unemployment rate is down, which means less available workforce in LA
- There are 133,000 new jobs across multiple industries forecasted over the next 5 years
- Two-thirds of new jobs and replacement jobs will require an education level equal to or less than a high school diploma
The shrinking labor supply and increasing demand is not matching up!
The Census Bureau declared that 2016 was the first year ever where over one-third of American adults have a four-year degree. This means there will not be enough talent available to replace retiring workforce and new job demand. With a smaller talent pool, companies will struggle to fill positions to sustain basic maintenance needs. Limited affordable housing in Los Angeles County is also an external factor. As low wage labor is being pushed out of the increasingly high rent districts of LA County, it will become more difficult for service companies to provide consistent service to their clients.
What does this situation mean for facility maintenance?
- High turnover of contracted services
- Poor quality of work
- Lack of adequate training
- Increased security issues
This raises the concern of how to identify a service provider who can successfully attract and retain the best talent in the industry. Here are the top 5 things to look for:
- A policy of employee engagement and appreciation. This may include regular recognition of outstanding work performance, celebration of professional milestones, and other team activities
- Promoting a culture of addressing the individual: one-on-one meetings between workers and their supervisors, easy access to leadership, and identification of growth paths
- Consistent training on the latest technology, safety requirements, and communication techniques
- Legitimate health benefits for employees and their family members, not only the ACA offering
- Competitive pay in the industry - must be at least .30 cents above minimum wage
With turnover rates between 50% and 400% in the janitorial industry alone, and the continuous reduction of available labor, it becomes crucial to partner with a service company that recognizes their workforce is the key to maintaining long term success.