Is Vt.'s unemployed workforce qualified for available jobs? - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Is Vt.'s unemployed workforce qualified for available jobs?

Posted: Updated:
MONTPELIER, Vt. -

The Montpelier Elks Club was packed with a wide array of people Thursday, all with one thing in common-- they're looking for jobs at the fourth annual Central Vermont Job Fair.

"It is hard and you find as you get old it's not any easier either," job seeker Mary Carroll said.

"It's probably one of the hardest places I've ever been to finding a job," Christopher Yarger said.

Yarger has been unemployed for a year. He was laid off from an electronics engineering company.

"I'm keeping my eye out and hoping to find something good," he said.

SB Electronics in Barre was one of the 40 vendors at the event and the company is ready to hire.

"We have a couple of positions that we need filled rapidly and we prefer to fill them locally," said Samantha Ryan of SB Electronics.

Currently, Vermont's unemployment rate is 4.4 percent. That's the lowest in New England and the third lowest in the U.S. Economist Art Woolf says although that number sounds good, it's not always an accurate picture.

"It's not truth with a capital T. It's based on a sample and a statistical process. I think it's showing a lower number than actually exists," Woolf explained.

The unemployment rate is people not working divided by the number of people in the labor force. And in Vermont, the already small population is falling out of the labor market.

Art Woolf: Unfortunately that's going to be the story of Vermont's economy for years and years to come.

Reporter Gina Bullard: This mismatch?

Art Woolf: Yes, the fact that the labor force is falling. We have fewer people and it's not the total number of people but the skills that people are bringing to the labor market and what employers need.

Woolf says many businesses are scrambling to find qualified workers in Vermont. And that's the case for SB Electronics.

"So far there hasn't been any one person with the broad range of skills we're looking for," Ryan said. "So we'll probably have to hire a couple different people to fill the need we have right now."

About 800 people attended the job fair Wednesday. Many we spoke with were underemployed and looking for more work.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Snowmobile season officially ends

    Snowmobile season officially ends

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 1:08 AM EDT2014-04-16 05:08:12 GMT
    Today marks the end of the snowmobile season. The Vermont Association of Snow Travelers reports a banner year with the best riding conditions in years. VAST says next year snowmobilers will be able toMore >>
    Today marks the end of the snowmobile season. The Vermont Association of Snow Travelers reports a banner year with the best riding conditions in years. VAST says next year snowmobilers will be able toMore >>
  • A big honor for a Burlington teen

    A big honor for a Burlington teen

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 1:06 AM EDT2014-04-16 05:06:26 GMT
    16-year-old Yusuf Abdi was named 2014 Vermont Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year. He received the award during a celebration at the State House today. Judges called him extraordinary for his age, articulate,More >>
    16-year-old Yusuf Abdi was named 2014 Vermont Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year. He received the award during a celebration at the State House today.More >>
  • Blood donor honored for his contributions

    Blood donor honored for his contributions

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 1:04 AM EDT2014-04-16 05:04:54 GMT
    There are your average blood donors who might give once or twice a year and then there is Frank Sklenarik. He's donated 140 units or 17-and-half gallons of blood since becoming a donor in 1996. Today theMore >>
    There are your average blood donors who might give once or twice a year and then there is Frank Sklenarik. He's donated 140 units or 17-and-half gallons of blood since becoming a donor in 1996. Today theMore >>
  • Weather rollercoaster wreaks havoc across the state

    Weather rollercoaster wreaks havoc across the state

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-04-16 04:07:42 GMT
    Rain, flooding and now snow. This weather rollercoaster is causing problems all around our region. Temps have dropped so the heavy rainfall has switched to snow. Rivers are spilling their banks, roadsMore >>
    Rain, flooding and now snow. This weather rollercoaster is causing problems all around our region. Temps have dropped so the heavy rainfall has switched to snow.More >>
  • Rutland mom caught stealing Easter goodies

    Rutland mom caught stealing Easter goodies

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 1:07 AM EDT2014-04-16 05:07:35 GMT
    A Rutland mom is busted for stealing goodies for her child's Easter basket.  22-year-old Monica Barker pleaded guilty to swiping about $70 in merchandise from Wal-mart. Police say most of the stolen itemsMore >>
    A Rutland mom is busted for stealing goodies for her child's Easter basket.  22-year-old Monica Barker pleaded guilty to swiping about $70 in merchandise from Wal-mart. Police say most of the stolen itemsMore >>
  • Warnings about rising rivers across our region

    Warnings about rising rivers across our region

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 8:08 PM EDT2014-04-16 00:08:37 GMT
    Flood warnings are in effect around our region as heavy rains begin to move through. There is already localized flooding at some of the typical problem spots, like the wrong-way bridge on Route 15 inMore >>
    Parts of our region are already flooding and others are bracing as heavy rains move through. Not only is rain falling fast, but warm temperatures Monday melted snow, adding to high waters.More >>
  • Man rescued from Black River in Springfield

    Man rescued from Black River in Springfield

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-04-15 23:06:00 GMT
    A man had to be pulled from the Black River in Springfield Tuesday morning. The Hartford Fire Department says it's working to pull a man out from the river. They say he got stuck about 75 feet out inMore >>
    Vermont emergency workers have rescued a man stranded in the middle of a treacherous section of river in downtown Springfield.
    More >>
  • NH agrees Vt. man was insane during killing

    NH agrees Vt. man was insane during killing

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-15 18:49:26 GMT
    A Vermont man charged with stabbing a stranger to death in the lobby of a New Hampshire hotel last year will plead not guilty by reason of insanity.More >>
    A Vermont man charged with stabbing a stranger to death in the lobby of a New Hampshire hotel last year will plead not guilty by reason of insanity.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.