Labor shortage slows many areas of western New England economy
Last month, the usually busy Storrowton Tavern and Carriage House restaurant in West Springfield, Massachusetts, reduced its hours and its business. Storrowton Tavern is now closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Like many businesses across western New England and the country, the restaurant can’t find enough workers. And owners do not want to burn out the workers he has by pushing them to put in too many hours.“We have to reduce the hours we are open only so we can give someone the day off because people are going to get burned out. I’m burned out and it takes a lot for me to say that. But it’s still sad. We did not want to do this,” Storrowton Tavern co-owner Vincent Calvanese told WWLP.
The latest state estimate is that the rate of unemployment in Massachusetts is up to 5.2%. The unemployment rate in Connecticut is even higher. It is 6.8%. Still, employers across many sectors, including hospitality, health care, and human services report severe worker shortages.
“We have 11 million job openings and 11 million people out of work, and you would think that's an easy fix, but there’s skills mismatch there. So, we need to figure that out,” says And Another Thing guest Mark Teed of Raymond James Financial.