Alabama job market is leaving more jobs than applicants

Updated: Jan. 23, 2018 at 11:10 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - If you're looking for a new job or a better one--Alabama's job market is looking up. The state hit a new record this month for the most people employed.

"I would say that the job market is extremely active. There are a lot of jobs available in the greater Birmingham area. We are finding that and there are a lot of jobs available in Alabama as a whole," said Eric Ellington, President of Custom Staffing Solutions in Birmingham.

He said there's a problem though--getting those jobs filled. The team at Custom Staffing Solutions is busy just trying to meet the need.

"We have jobs that range anywhere from $8 an hour to $38 an hour," said Ellington.

Tuesday they placed about fifty people in temporary positions and they still have almost 40 more that need to filled.

"70 to 75 percent of our jobs are light industrial, which will pay anywhere from $8 dollars an hour to $15 an hour and that's where we have a greater difficulty."

Ellington said there are a number of factors that make it challenging. He said drugs are one.

"A lot of people can't pass our drug screenings, which is mandatory for us. So we do have difficulties in attracting qualified candidates. A lot of people want the job but they may not be qualified for the job."

Transportation is another factor.

"A lot of times we may have five openings available for third shift, but the bus isn't running during third shift. So those people don't have the opportunity to accept the job," continued Ellington.

In Jefferson County the unemployment rate is at 3.2 percent--lower than both the state and national average.

"That's traditionally low for the last 6 to 8 years so we don't have the pure volume of people but we do encounter many, many people. They do need to work and we are very aggressively going after them to place them in good situations."

That includes a job fair scheduled for Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at Princeton Hospital in the Environmental Services Department.  It's scheduled from 9 am to 3 pm.

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