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MNI Chicago Survey™ Firms Eye  Alternatives as Labor Shortages Persist

MNI (London)

The February Chicago Survey™ signaled further labor supply shortages in February, and asked firms whether they were looking at technological solutions to assist with continued difficulties of staff shortages.

  • The Employment subindex decreased for a third month in February, slipping -4.7 points to 37.3. This is the weakest since June ’20 and outside of the April-June 2020 period the lowest since 2009.
  • Recruiting remained challenging as firms struggled to find personnel. Others began actioning reorganization plans. Over one-third of firms recorded lower February employment.
  • Our February special question asked firms whether they were reconsidering automation / artificial intelligence / digital technology to assist with the labor shortages this year.
  • 22.6% of firms asked were reconsidering technological solutions, with a further 29.0% somewhat considering the option.
  • Over a third (35.5%) were not doing so and 12.9% remained unsure.
  • Material shortages were cited for delays in implementing automation thus far.

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