Hundreds of thousands of jobs available in Georgia but not enough applicants to fill them

There are hundreds of thousands of job openings in Georgia, but companies are struggling to fill them. 

The Georgia Department of Labor's Employ Georgia website shows there are more than 240,000 job listings, more than 12,500 were added Thursday. 

Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said this could mean more than half a million jobs are up for grabs on the website since each listing can be for more than one position. 

"We have more jobs listed on Employ Georgia than I have ever seen in 10 years," Butler said. "As a matter of fact, over three times as many jobs listed today than we did in the February before the pandemic started." 

Butler said the openings apply to many different sectors. 

"Obviously you're going to see hospitality is going to be the ones you're going to see...because they had some of the biggest job losses during the pandemic, so it just begs that when they start recovering, those are going to be some of the biggest gains. But we're seeing it in businesses services, we're seeing it in technology and programming," Butler said. 

When it comes to money, Butler said most of these jobs are offering more now than they were before the pandemic because they are desperate to get jobs filled. Some are even offering signing bonuses. 

Butler said one of the factors contributing to the difficulty in filling these jobs could be due to the fact that people are still hesitant to return to work due to the Coronavirus. 

Another big reason also comes down to the math. 

"A person right now that is currently on unemployment in Georgia, the average number is about $250 a week, but you're also getting $300 on top of that, so that $550 a week," Butler said. "That's almost $14 an hour. Now, in order to qualify to get to the $250 a week, you only had to show roughly $10,000 to $11,000 in income. So, that individual is actually making roughly twice as much money before they became unemployed." 

Butler said unfilled jobs can do more than just harm the business, it can end up taking a toll on our wallets in the long run. 

"If you're wondering why that beef or chicken is costing more, or why that produce is costing more at the grocery store. It's a combination of things. It's the grower or the picker, the processor but it's also the people at the grocery store that are having a hard time filling their positions too. You're seeing wages go up but you're seeing the cost of good go up," Butler said. 

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