In the weeks to come, millions of people will be graduating from high school and college with the intention of going out into the world and finding a job.
In years past, new graduates faced an uncertain future and had to literally struggle to find work. But, now, a slew of reports describe the current US labor market as a metaphorical mug that, despite the pleas of millions of desperate employers to attract workers, continues to sink, and sink, and overflow.
At the same time, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that by the end of 2022, the US economy will have seen an increase of 1.61 million new jobs that will need to be filled as soon as possible.
So what are the job prospects like here in Southeast Ohio?
According to OhioMeansJobs-Athens County Workforce Advancement Officer Dean Tidcock, “unprecedented job opportunities exist here in Ohio.”
However, Tidcock noted that graduates’ chances of finding employment will largely depend on their field of study.
He explained that “if someone studied marine biology in college, since it’s not considered an in-demand job in that field, then that person will have a hard time finding work locally.”
Which labor markets in Athens County are currently booming? Tidcock said the healthcare industry in our region is in dire need of health care aides, nurses and doctors.
He added that education is another area where qualified local teachers should have little or no difficulty finding work.
Another area that Tidcock has seen experiencing a growth spurt is manufacturing. He clarified that “when most people hear the term ‘manufacturing’, they immediately think of someone performing monotonous tasks in a dirty old factory day in and day out. »
On the contrary, he explained that in today’s world, the majority of people who work in the manufacturing industry spend their working day programming and operating robots.
According to www.recruiter.com, a robotics technician in Ohio can expect to earn $55,660 per year.
Why are there currently so many jobs available in the United States?
Tidcock explained that “due to the pandemic, a record number of baby boomers have decided to retire. This has created serious gaps in the labor market that many employers are still trying to fill.
The term “baby boomersrefers to anyone born in the years following World War II at a time when the United States experienced a massive increase in the birth rate.
On wages, Tidcock said, “Even though Athens County is the poorest county in the state of Ohio, there are plenty of local employers here who are willing to pay their employees a living wage.”
Kristi Kinnard, CEO of Career Connections Inc., agrees.
She maintains that the pay for specific office jobs in our area has steadily improved. Kinnard recalled that recently, “Our agency has seen administrative assistant pay go up an extra two to three dollars per hour.”
According to a recent report found on www.salary.com, as of March 29, 2022, the salary for an administrative assistant in Ohio was between $37,264 and $47,061 per year.
In addition to administrative assistant jobs, Kinnard said she’s also seen an increased demand in our area for candidates with a background in customer service and account management.
She added that “more and more employers in our region are becoming more flexible and willing to offer candidates more options – such as choosing to work remotely – that would be more attractive to job seekers.”
As a result of these recent trends, Kinnard and his team have been able to find jobs for candidates in a much shorter time. She said: “A year ago, it would have taken our agency several weeks to find a job candidate. We are now able to match job seekers with employers in 5-10 days.
Kinnard reiterated that for anyone looking for work in Athens County, “Right now our area is definitely a job seekers market.”
OhioMeansJobs-Athens County is located at 510 W. Union Street, Suite 102, Athens, and can be reached by calling 740-797-1405.
Career Connections, Inc. is located at 449 East State Street, Second Floor, Athens and can be reached by calling 740-594-4941.