The country’s low unemployment rate is challenging companies seeking workers with specific skills. The Labor Department says the nation’s May unemployment rate was 3.8 percent, an 18-year low. The metropolitan Peoria rate is 4.1 percent.
Greater Peoria Economic Development Council CEO Christopher Setti says while the employment trend is positive, there are still plenty of local job openings, particularly in specialized trades such a welding and nursing.
“Even at a four or five percent unemployment rate, we know that there are thousands of people without jobs maybe because they lack those soft skills or technical jobs that are available. So there’s still work to be done,” Setti says.
Setti says while finding workers with the correct skills to fill openings is a challenge, the goal is always to have opportunities for those who want jobs. Setti adds a variety of skilled worker training programs are offered by regional education partners and social service agencies.