Lack of people to fill plentiful jobs in area

The start of the COVID-19 pandemic brought a surge in unemployment claims as parts of the U.S. workforce was laid off. But now there’s another problem with the labor force, one in which Auglaize County serves as a microcosm: too many jobs and not enough job candidates.

“The job market is very plentiful,” Amy Freymuth, director of workforce development and self sufficiency for the Auglaize County Department of Job and Family Services, said. “There are many jobs open.”

But just because there are jobs doesn’t mean people are taking them.

“The pandemic certainly changed things from the employer and employee’s perspective [on] things that we didn’t have to focus on before,” she said.

Freymuth admitted she’s receiving calls from employers with multiple vacancies and few — if any — people applying. It’s gotten to a point where some companies were offering signing bonuses and paid time-off before even starting.

Within Auglaize County jobs with high demand include manufacturing, particularly entry-level. The medical field is also in need of new hires, as are CDL truck drivers and information technology/ cybersecurity workers. The need for people in construction was also rising.