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'The real challenge economically and for employers is to attract a new labor pool,' and hold onto your old talent: ManpowerGroup President

ManpowerGroup President Becky Frankiewicz joined Yahoo Finance Live to break down the latest jobs report.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: Let's talk about the big story of the day, and that, of course, is the big jobs miss. The April hiring boom that many on the Street were expecting did not really result here. As you can see, the US adding just 266,000 jobs back into the economy. The expectation was for just around a million.

So to help us make sense of all this, we want to bring in Becky Frankiewicz, president of the ManpowerGroup. And Becky, it's great to have you on. So Manpower, it's a staffing firm. So I guess, just explain to us what some of the dynamics that are at play right now in the labor market. Is it the fact that firms just simply aren't hiring at the rate that we were expecting? Is it people just simply aren't looking for work? How are you seeing this?

BECKY FRANKIEWICZ: Yeah, thank you, Seana. Actually, when we see numbers like we saw this morning that literally defy the logic of demand, we have to step back and focus on what we know and what's happening real time in our economy. And what we know is there are 11.4 million jobs available in our country today. That's more than March and actually more than January of 2020. What we know is that month over month, every month of 2021, there has been an increase in the number of job open month over month.

And finally, what we know is that even the industries hardest hit by the pandemic-- hospitality and leisure, retail-- we're starting to see demand wake up. Long way to go, a lot of ground to cover, but the demand is there, the talent supply is sluggish, and we have a talent shortage in our country. And so, the real challenge economically and for employers is to attract a new labor pool and hold on to the talent that you have.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Becky, I want to read something to you. It says that in spite-- or despite the high unemployment rate, 53% of US small business owners in January reported finding it very or somewhat difficult to find the qualified employees they need. That was 2013. It doesn't sound like much has changed. What's different now compared to then?

BECKY FRANKIEWICZ: Yeah, Adam, so the challenge is actually very similar. I mean, we have people that want to come to work. In some cases, they're connecting with jobs quickly. So employers have to get to yes very quickly. So you want to work. There's a lot of opportunity for you in the demand that I mentioned. Secondly, we do still have childcare issues in our country. So the businesses are opening ahead of childcare and ahead of education. And that's creating a bit of a challenge. We have employees that are still a little afraid to come to work because of the crisis. And we have a new competitor for private business, in some cases, which is the stimulus.

And so, not a lot has changed, except that now, we have a new environment that's facing us. And we are seeing demand come back even in retail. So I know what the jobs report said about retail this morning. But demand for in-person retail increased 10,000 jobs from March to April. So demand is there.

SEANA SMITH: Becky, when you take a look at the labor market right now, we have 8 million fewer-- over more than 8 million fewer jobs in the economy than we did pre-pandemic. But yet when you walk down the street, number of restaurants are still closed. A number of shops aren't, I guess, operating at full capacity. We were talking about this in our editorial meeting this morning. And we were debating whether or not some of those jobs will ever return. What do you think?

BECKY FRANKIEWICZ: Yeah, Seana hard to tell at this point. So we have clients all across the United States and everything in every single state. And what we're finding is many restaurants, specifically restaurants, even if they have reopened, they're limiting their hours because they don't have enough talent to run the shop, the hours they want to be open. And so we are hopeful that as we get through the next few months, as summer travel starts again, again, we're starting to see early wake up demand in these industries. We hope that those jobs start coming back. And so that we can have more Americans working in our country for every single month. And I'd love to see the gap close in this idea of demand is surging, yet supply is sluggish.

ADAM SHAPIRO: I do want to hit on one thing, perhaps my own job security here. It costs a lot to replace people. So can you help us understand how you convince employers better to hold on to what you got than to let them fly the coop?

BECKY FRANKIEWICZ: Yeah, you're exactly right, Adam. For all of our job security, it costs about 25% more to go hire someone, find and hire than it does to retain who you have. And so, a couple of things that are important for workers there. They definitely want flexibility. So if you step back and think about in America, about 60% of the jobs require you to be in person. And so you might ask, hey, how's that going to happen with remote working? It's not just about remote. It's about flexibility.

And so, we're seeing even manufacturers that built their business on this model of shifts, very strict shifts, we're seeing them do shift stacking, which means instead of an eight-hour shift for one person, you might have two four-hour shifts that will allow someone to work a second job, allows part-time parents to come into the workforce, or allows college students to come into the workforce.

And so bringing flexibility forward, making sure that you're having career path in conversations, and then this idea of a caring economy, employees are looking for employers to provide more than pay today. They're looking for employers to provide well-being. And so you have to be a place where, yes, you can earn a living, but also you can take care of your whole self. And we encourage our clients to be the whole package when it comes to attracting employees and, to your point, holding on with both hands to every worker that you have.

SEANA SMITH: Becky Frankiewicz, president of ManpowerGroup, thanks so much for taking the time to join us. Have a great weekend.