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More jobs available than workers in northwest Ohio, according to Ohio Means Jobs and chamber of commerce

“The employers are seeing a lot of workers applying for jobs. And in a lot of cases, they're not seeing them take the jobs that are offered."

LUCAS COUNTY, Ohio — "Now Hiring" signs are everywhere and have been for months. But according to Ohio Means Jobs, workers aren't filling those openings.

Ohio Means Jobs Deputy Director Michael Veh said a lot of employers in Lucas County and the surrounding area are posting jobs; many of which offer increased wages, bonuses and incentives. He describes it as a very competitive market.

But Veh also said there are more available jobs right now than there are workers.

"I think part of the demand is being driven by the wages are very good on a lot of these jobs and the demand is very high," he said. "For folks who used to have to work two or maybe three jobs to make ends meet, they can now work one."

However, he said, that means those other jobs workers used to hold are now open.

Sara Swisher with the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce said the current unemployment rate in Lucas County is 4.2%, which is slightly lower than Ohio's rate.

"There are 1.5 open positions for every one unemployed individual," she said. "While there's a great outlook, we know in the Toledo region as well as the nation, there still is a worker shortage." She points out that healthcare, truck driving and manufacturing are being hit the hardest.

Swisher said the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce is seeing the highest workforce turnover rates in 20 years.

“If you don't like what you're getting paid in one place, sometimes you can look across the street and they have a higher wage or better incentive," she said. "We're really seeing that. People are quitting their job and turnover at the highest rates."

Just this week, Ohio increased the state's minimum wage from $8.80 to $9.30. That's a 50-cent bump. 

Veh said this increase is long overdue.

"It's a nice safety net for people and it's a nice starting point for people. But until wages get up to the point where people can sustain their families and livelihood, it's going to be a tough call to get people to take minimum wage jobs."

While experts say our local economy is slowly improving, there's still some work that needs to be done.

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