Ohio’s governor has issued a new statewide directive to help fill the jobs gap in Ohio.
The state’s top psychologist job title is in jeopardy.
John Kasich has issued an order that requires employers to pay at least $100 per hour for psychologists, which is the highest minimum wage in the country.
It’s a major setback for the Ohio Psychological Association, which represents more than 12,000 psychologists statewide.
The state said the order will make it harder for qualified candidates to land jobs.
“We’re not going to be able to hire the people that we need to be hiring in the psychology profession,” said Lisa Schmitz, executive director of the association.
In the meantime, employers are scrambling to fill the ranks.
There are more than 1,400 psychology jobs in Ohio, according to the state, and the number is expected to grow to 2,600 jobs by 2020.
That means the shortage of qualified psychologists will continue to be a significant concern in the future, according a recent report from the Ohio Policy Research Institute.
That report found that the number of psychologists employed in Ohio is increasing faster than overall employment.
About 3.5 percent of Ohio’s workforce is currently employed in psychology, up from 1.8 percent in 2017.
Schmitz said the psychology shortage is just the beginning.
“The real challenge is that we’re going to have to find the next generation of psychologists,” she said.
She added that many employers don’t know how to recruit and retain qualified psychologists.
“It’s going to take a little while for the psychology field to recover from this,” she predicted.
Kasich’s order has already had a positive impact on recruiting, said Jeff Siegel, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Central Florida.
He said companies have been opening up jobs in psychology and hiring more qualified psychologists, even as the state’s population has shrunk.
“In other words, we’ve seen a positive ripple effect,” Siegel said.
Schimtz said there’s no evidence that employers are actually hiring qualified psychologists in Ohio as a result of the order.
But she said she hopes employers will take advantage of the state order.
“There are still a lot of qualified applicants out there, and we want to get them to come here and work,” she explained.
Schmittz is hopeful the order can bring back some jobs for the state.
But that could take time.
The order does not require businesses to pay the higher minimum wage, and it only applies to psychologists.
It’s a small amount of money, and companies may not have the money to pay for it.