Companies struggle to hire; Missouri Career Center representatives explain why

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Businesses in the Springfield area are struggling to hire.

The City of Springfield’s unemployment rate is 1.9%. According to new data from the United States Bureau of Labor statistics, this is a drop of one percentage point between March and April.

“The unemployment rate is very low and would be considered full employment because anything below 3% is considered full employment,” said Katherine Trombetta of the Missouri Job Center. “The really important factor to consider when looking at the unemployment rate is actually the labor force participation rate.”

According to the Missouri Job Center, 40% of Americans are out of the labor force and not working due to transportation and childcare barriers.

“During the pandemic, many child care centers had to close, and those jobs didn’t come back like other industries,” Trombetta said. “This is a critical shortage with the need for parents who need to return to work but cannot because they have no childcare available.”

Trombetta says the city of Springfield is still working with the state of Missouri on exactly how to tackle the child care issue.

Help has arrived on the transportation front with recent grants from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks’ Let’s Get to Work initiative.

“We’re really excited to be able to help individuals with things like bus tickets, gas cards, even auto repairs, to help them get to work,” Trombetta said.

On Sunshine Street, the Missouri Job Center hosts weekly hiring events called “Wednesday Works” every Wednesday from 9-11 a.m.

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