HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A new study finds that north Alabama could face serious challenges to find qualified workers to fill the many jobs that have flooded the region.
A labor market analysis was recently commissioned by north Alabama elected leaders.
Deloitte analyzed the situation and its findings signal a potential crisis in the future that will require an extraordinary effort to overcome, Al.com reported.
A national recruiting effort is needed to attract people to fill the jobs, said Darin Buelow, global location strategy leader for Deloitte.
In a recent presentation to area civic leaders, Buelow said the Huntsville area must fill about 25,000 new jobs by 2023.
However, it comes at a time when Alabama is experiencing a record-low unemployment rate of 2.8%. It's even lower in the Huntsville area at 2.1%.
"The only way to get some of those people is to get some of them to move here," Buelow said. "Sure, we can convert more of them that are in the economy now, maybe convert some of the non-workers and turn them into workers.
"But we need to also ramp up a moonshot effort to get people to be interested to move to this region," he added.
Launch 2035 hired Deloitte to study the labor market. Launch 2035 is regional business-led initiative that has facilitated closer working relationships with the area's elected leaders in Madison, Morgan and Limestone counties.
The study projected that 14,000 new jobs in the region will be created over the next three years, "translating to approximately 25,000 direct, indirect and induced new jobs," according to Deloitte's executive summary.
"That's going to exacerbate the supply and demand gap that the Huntsville area experiences now," Buelow said.