Indeed.com is filled with help wanted ads from local retailers, trying to hire seasonal employees.
Target, Macy’s, Big Lots, Bath & Body Works, Ulta Beauty and Kirkland’s are among those advertising for workers to help through the holidays.
Kohl’s began its holiday hiring last summer to get a jump on the others.
But retailers aren’t the only businesses having trouble finding workers in Owensboro.
And it’s not just seasonal workers.
“There’s definitely a shortage of seasonal and part-time workers,” Candance Brake, president of the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce, said recently. “But there’s also a shortage of full-time workers. Only 53.5 percent of our people between 16 and 65 are working.”
Brake said she’s heard estimates that as many as 1,000 jobs are waiting to be filled locally.
And, she said, “The president of the Bowling Green chamber estimates that there are 6,000 openings there.”
One thousand jobs is a little more than 2 percent of the 46,000 jobs currently in Daviess County.
The state says that in September there were 1,776 people here listed as unemployed.
If they were placed in the estimated 1,000 job openings, Daviess County would be near full employment.
But the people on the unemployment rolls likely don’t have the right skills that the employers are looking for.
“We have to find a way to match people with opportunities,” Brake said. “We have to look at it innovatively. It’s across-the-board from retail to services to professional services to crafts and trades.”
She said, “It’s a national issue with low unemployment. But we’re good at addressing issues locally. We have innovative people here who can come up with good solutions to problems. I believe we can do that.”
In September, Daviess County’s unemployment rate stood at 3.7 percent.
But it was 3.8 percent a year ago.
That’s not much difference.
Brake said, “85 percent of our chamber members say that having a skilled workforce is their biggest issue. And 94.6 percent list it as an issue.”
Money.cnn.com reported recently that “there just aren’t as many people looking for work this year. Unemployment fell to a 16-year low of 4.2 percent in September, considered to be pretty much full employment by most economists. The Labor Department also estimates that there are 6.1 million unfilled job openings nationwide, according to its most recent reading, virtually unchanged from the record level reached earlier this summer. More than one in 10 of those unfilled jobs are in the retail sector.”
It added that “the number of part-time workers who would prefer full-time work has fallen by nearly 250,000 people in just the last year, according to the Labor Department.”
By Keith Lawrence Messenger-Inquirer