• "It's Labor Day - Where's the Labor?"

    OKLAHOMA CITY - August 23, 2017



    New Labor Day White Paper from Express Identifies 10 Places to Grow the Workforce During Low Unemployment

    Includes Recommendations for Employers and Policymakers 

    Express Experts Weigh In


    Express Employment Professionals released a new white paper today offering 10 places to grow the workforce at a time of low unemployment.

    With unemployment hitting new lows and job openings hitting new highs, finding workers can be a
    near-impossible task for some employers. To grow the workforce, policymakers and employers need to
    be prepared to rethink long-held assumptions and challenge conventional wisdom. 

    The new paper, titled, "Help Wanted: A Road Map to Finding More Workers," is informed by the experiences of Express owners from across the country and identifies 10 areas for policymakers and employers to grow the workforce:

    1. Restructure Assistance Programs
    2. Add Work Requirements to Assistance Programs
    3. Improve Access to Training and Re-Training Programs
    4. Fight the Opioid Crisis
    5. Use Drug Testing in Smarter Ways
    6. Modernize Disability Programs
    7. Improve Workplace Flexibility
    8. "Ban the Box" or Questions About Criminal Records 
    9. Improve the Immigration System
    10. Pay Higher Wages and Promote Worker Growth


    8-23-2017-Labor Day

    The number of open jobs could soon exceed the number of unemployed workers in America. 
    This represents a lost opportunity and a call to action.
    Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis


    Examples of specific recommendations for policymakers include:

    1. Phase out benefit payments gradually as recipients earn more money. Don't cut off benefits all at once at specific thresholds.
    2. Condition the receipt of certain health and welfare benefits on working or job training.
    3. Facilitate partnerships between education institutions and major employers so that workers can receive training for the jobs that are locally available and in-demand.
    4. Refine the disability program, enforce its rules and support disabled workers seeking to return to work.

    Examples of specific recommendations for employers include:

    1. Set up an Employee Assistance Program to help fight opioid abuse.
    2. Offer more part-time work arrangements, remote work, flexible schedules and parental or caregiver leave.
    3. Remove questions about past convictions from job application forms.
    4. Demonstrate clear paths for advancement to current and potential employees.


    "Business leaders tell me all the time how hard it is to find qualified workers to fill their job openings. Well, here are 10 strategies they can use to grow the workforce and increase the number of people who want to work," said Bob Funk, founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Express Employment Professionals. "Many of these recommendations will push employers out of their comfort zones. We're not only asking them to rethink some longtime practices but also to be advocates for critically needed policy reforms."

    If you would like to arrange for an interview with Bob Funk to discuss this topic, please contact Sheena Karami, Director of Corporate Communications and PR, at (405) 717-5966.


    About Robert A. Funk

    Robert A. "Bob" Funk is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 770 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than 6 million people to work worldwide. Funk served as Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve and was also the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

    About Express Employment Professionals

    Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.05 billion in sales and employed a record 510,000 people in 2016. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. For more information, visit