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Hold On Tight

Better work on keeping your top-notch talent now--while it's still an employers' job market.

By Chris Penttila

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

At the moment, employers control the job market, able to hireand fire employees as they see fit. But employer-friendly labormarkets don't last forever, and the next labor crunch could beeven worse than the one seen in 1999. In fact, the Bureau of LaborStatistics is projecting a shortage of 4 million workers by 2006and 10 million workers by 2010, numbers influenced both bydemographics and a shrinking pool of skilled labor. Someindustries, including nursing and engineering, are alreadysuffering from a shortage of talent.

With well-trained workers in limited supply, it may be time foryou to create some old-fashioned loyalty, where employees stickaround for years, if not for the gold watch. "Everyoneavailable to work for the next 25 years has already beenborn," says Marc Drizin, employee- loyalty specialist withWalkerInformation, a survey research company in Indianapolis."It's going to be incumbent on [entrepreneurs] to engenderloyalty for as long as they possibly can."

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