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Why can't companies fill jobs? Survey aims to find out what's fueling 'Great Resignation'

Chris Rivera with Guilford Works said early data reveals low pay and lack of work-life balance are key reasons why workers are quitting and not taking jobs.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Thousands of jobs are open and not enough people are applying to them in Guilford County and surrounding areas, according to Guilford Works Executive Director Chris Rivera. 

"With 50,000 plus positions available in Guilford County and surrounding areas, we really just are a bit troubled to figure out why we have so many jobs and not enough individuals flocking to them," said Rivera. 

Guilford Works created a survey to get to the bottom of why people are leaving their jobs and not jumping on available opportunities, also known as the "Great Resignation."

"The best way to gauge that is to get out into the community and survey them and get their perspective," said Rivera. 

Early responses show low pay and a lack of work-life balance.

"Individuals that are actively looking for work are finding that the available positions do not offer sufficient compensation, benefits, and incentives. We saw about 53% to date that have indicated that," said Rivera. "And then 56% of individuals that have responded have said that for positions that are available, are not providing flexibility or good work-life balance."

Rivera said college graduates also have a hard time getting into the workforce, with some jobs requiring one to two years of experience. He's hoping that standard will change.

"Employers are looking for individuals with one to two years of experience and that’s hard for our recent college grads to come out with a degree and then be required to have the experience to get into the workforce," he said. 

Rivera hopes the survey will help employers make adjustments.

"I think the data we're collecting here locally will help them make some operational and or HR shifts in how they’re looking for recruiting and retaining talent. We continue to press upon our employer community we have got to pay our workforce livable wages. The pandemic has really shined a light on the need for work-life balance and flexible work schedules are really important," he said. 

The survey is only three questions long and will be accessible for two weeks. Rivera said they want people to take the time to do the survey and didn't want to make it too long. He said they plan to put out a second survey to get more information. 

"We are still experiencing that great resignation and again 51,000 positions available in our community, we still have some work to do," he said.