In the second quarter of 2019, half of firms reported experiencing worker shortages, above the 39% figure in the first quarter, but below levels in the prior year. Throughout 2018, more than half of responding Maryland businesses reported difficulties in finding workers with the skills necessary to fill specific job requirements. With half the businesses in lead sectors of Maryland’s economy having trouble finding workers, shortages remain a barrier to growth.
Figure 6: Percentage of Firms Experiencing Workforce Shortages
Workforce shortages appear to be getting worse. The share of firms characterizing these shortages as both short- and long-term in nature has risen steadily over the past six quarters. In second quarter 2019, 78% of responding businesses said they experienced both long-term and combined long- and short-term shortages, up from 70% in the beginning of 2018. Shortages were reported across all skill levels to include manufacturing workers (30 firms reporting), unskilled workers or laborers (9 Firms), and engineers or scientists (22 firms). Maryland businesses thus appear to be experiencing worker shortages across the low, middle, and high skilled spectrum of occupations. Of the businesses reporting workforce shortages in second quarter 2019, 42% were forced to recruit from out-of-state, 6% recruited workers internationally, and 12% said they had difficulty finding workers with a security clearance.
Figure 7: Type of Workforce Shortages