(WJHL) – When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Northeast Tennessee saw a rise in unemployment rates. However, now that businesses and the economy are opening back up, jobs are becoming available once again but there’s a problem finding people to take these positions, according to officials in Greene County.
“We’re still trying to figure out, with the stimulus checks having completed, where is everybody?,” said President & CEO of Greene County Partnership Jeff Taylor.
Taylor told News Channel 11’s Kelly Grosfield that he plans to hand out fliers about these open positions at their Halloween event on Tuesday night. He wants to let people know there are literally hundreds of jobs available across a number of industries in the county.
“We’ve got over 300+ jobs that we’re struggling to fill again, that doesn’t get into hospitality, health care, retail and food services,” said Taylor.
The most recent unemployment numbers show Greene County at 6.2%. Historically, Taylor said when they’re at around 4% it means they’re at full employment, but yet these jobs are still open and employers are trying to pull in applicants.
Greene County isn’t the only place experiencing this issue. Nathan Woods oversees eight counties stretching from Greene to Johnson and said openings, especially in manufacturing, are available.
“In each of those counties, there are definitely manufacturers that have 10-15 positions available throughout the county and if you drive through some of our communities you’ll see the help wanted signs, big signs out by the road so there are definitely jobs available,” said the business coordinator for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Nathan Woods.
Recent numbers for Washington County, Tennessee shows the county at a 4.9% unemployment rate which isn’t bad considering full employment is around 3%, according to County Mayor Joe Grandy.
While there aren’t nearly as many jobs open as Greene County, Grandy said they keep a close eye on employment opportunities.
“We have a survey out now just trying to take a pulse of where our manufacturers are with employment but at the moment we really don’t have any of them that are in desperate need of folks to bring in,” Grandy said.
However, Grandy said there are no county lines when it comes to employment which opens the opportunity for new businesses to expand into surrounding areas.
“We’d like to bring in businesses that bring people in from outside of the community to come to work,” said Grandy.
For any further questions regarding these jobs, you can contact the Greene County Partnership and inquire.