NIFB poll: quality workers in La. falling

WWL Newsroom
February 19, 2020 - 8:55 am

A National Federation of Independent Business poll of Louisiana members shows the top issue facing small businesses in the state is the “quality of labor.” Workforce concerns were at the top of the list, above even tax issues for 23 percent of members. NFIB State Director Dawn Starns says it boils down to two issues.

“Soft skills, which is showing up to work, that desire to be there and work, and just the basic skills that you need to be there,” says Starns.

Starns says there are concerns about state workers’ technical qualifications, but with the tightening labor market and low unemployment, it can be difficult to find workers who are committed to the job.

“Those soft skills that employees need to know, how to come to work, how to be an employee, how to talk to people, how to answer a phone, how to work in a team environment, how to deal with people face to face,” says Starns.

Nearly 80 percent of respondents say they would like the state to do more to prepare workers coming out of high school for employment. Starns says even entry-level jobs need technical and people skills.

“These are changing times, there’s so much that we do on computers even in the school system, but where are we missing those people skills?”

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