top of page

The Changing Landscape of Janitorial Employment: Analyzing the Impact of Recent Trends

The current state of the labor market presents a unique set of challenges for industries across the board, with the janitorial sector facing its own specific hurdles. Despite signs of economic recovery in some areas, the cleaning industry continues to grapple with a significant shortage of workers, a situation exacerbated by the global pandemic. This article delves into three major trends influencing the availability and retention of janitorial staff.


1. The Shift in the Workforce: Beyond the Great Resignation

The phenomenon dubbed the "Great Resignation" saw an unprecedented number of workers, over 50 million in 2022 and 48 million the year before, leaving their jobs. As of late 2023, the trend showed a slight decrease, with 30.6 million resignations. However, a closer look reveals a dynamic shift: the rate of hiring has been surpassing resignations since November 2020, indicating a significant movement of workers across sectors in search of better opportunities and compensation. This realignment, especially pronounced in janitorial roles, suggests a transition towards what can be more accurately termed "The Great Reshuffle."


2. Immigration Trends and Their Impact on the Workforce

Recent data from the Census Bureau highlights a stark decrease in net international migration, with only 247,000 additions to the U.S. population from 2020 to 2021, a 76% decline from the peak years of immigration. This downturn has considerable implications for the cleaning industry, where a significant portion of the workforce, 38.2%, is comprised of immigrants. The diminishing rate of immigration signals potential future labor shortages for sectors reliant on this demographic.


3. The Ongoing Struggle for Female Labor Force Participation

Despite overall growth in the participation of women in the workforce, obstacles remain. The pandemic led to 3.5 million mothers exiting their jobs, resulting in a dramatic dip in participation rates. Although there has been a recovery since the early days of the pandemic, participation rates have not returned to pre-pandemic levels or the historic peak reached in 2001. The need to care for family remains a significant barrier for many women considering re-entry into the workforce, impacting the janitorial sector where women constitute over half of the workforce.


Strategies for Overcoming Staffing Challenges

To address these staffing challenges, employers in the janitorial industry must adopt proactive and innovative strategies. Attracting new talent and retaining current employees are crucial steps, achievable through competitive compensation, enhanced workplace flexibility, and fostering a positive company culture. Understanding these evolving trends is essential for janitorial businesses to develop effective solutions and navigate the complexities of today's labor market successfully.


At Patton Building Services, we understand these labor challenges. We have taken a proactive approach to attracting and retaining the best workers available to ensure our customers get the highest level of service possible. Come see why working with Patton is just different. 


bottom of page