Topeka (KSNT) — A new study by the U.S. Department of Labor shows the highest number of job openings in at least 15 years. There are more than 5 million jobs openings, and at least a million of those jobs were added just this year.
As for Kansas?
“Here in the state of Kansas, we’ve seen many signs of economic growth and of additional job openings,” says Cassie Sparks of the Kansas Department of Labor.
Even those who are unemployed agree.
“I think there are jobs in Kansas,” says one unemployed Topekan.
Yet for both the U.S. and Kansas, the unemployment rate remains above 4 percent, as many of those jobs remain unfilled.
“I believe that a lot of people aren’t looking in the right places for employment opportunity,” says Alorica talent manager Maxine Lowe.
The Department of Labor suggests looking online, as well as using work force centers to help find matches to current openings. They also suggest finding jobs in a high demand field. The five most in-demand jobs are in production, healthcare, office and administrative support, education, and construction.
But you shouldn’t rule out minimum wage jobs either. Companies like Chipotle and Starbucks have announced they’ll begin covering college tuition for workers, and providing vacation and sick days. Walmart has agreed to raise wages for all workers. They’re incentive trends that other companies are beginning to follow.
“We are paying them a lot more money and including incentives and bonuses in order to retain those great quality applicants,” says Lowe.
Along with job growth, the Kansas Department of Labor says they have also seen wage growth across the state. Wages are up 1.4 percent for hourly earnings since last year.