TYLER, Texas (KETK) – On Wednesday afternoon a panel was open to the public to examine the ongoing worker crisis.

At the event, experts said the United States has more openings across different industries than workers available. They stressed that it is creating a hiring competition between businesses causing wages to go up and breaking the balance in the market.  

“The labor shortage is currently an issue that we are experiencing in the United States, [it’s] at the national, state and region level,” said Manuel Reyes, Acting Director and Senior Research Analyst at the Hibbs Institute. 

A possible solution addressed by the panel are work visas for people overseas.

“We know that we have an aging workforce and population, there is a declining national fertility and a lot of people retired because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have a lot of gap between people and job openings and people who want to work. We need those workers,” said Jose Ivan Rodriguez-Sanchez, Research Scholar for the Baker Institute Center for the United States and Mexico.

The panel said the medical sector is the most affected industry.

UT Tyler is making health care a priority with the opening of the first medical school in the area in attempts to keep those future doctors in East Texas.

“This medical school is a medical school for East Texas not just for Tyler,” said Dr. Brigham Willis, Dean, UT Tyler School of Medicine. “We really need to build a workforce throughout the region.” 

Manufacturing, construction and restaurant industries are also facing challenge and panelists agree that solutions will take time. 

Panelists are optimistic now, but say these conversations need to be had to find solutions together.