Staffing agencies say job seekers may have to learn new skills to fulfill job market demands

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In September, about 6.5 million Americans were hired into the workforce for more than 10 million job openings.

Despite the millions of vacancies around the country, many can’t find the jobs they want.

“We’re hiring.” That’s a sign that greets you at many businesses across the country and here in North Dakota.

This, as nearly 10 million Americans lost their jobs because of the pandemic. As many businesses reopened, fewer employees came back to work.

“I think all of those factors, all pandemic related has kind of caused a perfect storm from as far as employment goes and having enough people to accomplish the work that is out there to be done,” said Adam Alder, manager of UCP Staffing Agency.

More than 4 million people quit their jobs in September for different reasons. From saving money on childcare to work-from-home preferences and in some cases the lack of incentives. Susan Ogurek at Job Service said for some, it’s more about skill set.

“I think it can go back to those skills. They may not think that they have some of those skills that employers are looking for,” she said.

New unemployment claims in North Dakota totaled about 806 as of November — that number is below pandemic levels but is a sign there are people who still need jobs.

Job Service said the effects of the pandemic continue to be felt on North Dakota’s job market.

Ogurek said that’s why it is crucial that people begin to reassess their skillset and learn new ones if necessary.

“What is that career that you want to get into? Then taking a look at ‘OK, here are my skills, this is what I have and this is what’s needed in that new occupation that I want, where is the gap?'” said Ogurek.

Some employers are choosing to offer incentive packages to attract and retain labor and Alder said job seekers cannot give up now. He advised employers to continue to put open positions out.

“With the challenges come opportunities to get better at advertising, marketing, sharing the jobs that we have that are out there and getting connected with people who are looking for work,” said Alder.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the unemployment rate across the U.S. has slowed significantly but larger companies continue to lose more staff while vacancies are steadily being filled in the health and social assistance sectors.

Both organizations offer free services for those who may need some guidance on the job market.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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