Siouxland Staffing Shortage? Local Positions Hard To Fill

Depression, recession, we've heard it all over the past few years, but the bottom line is: a lot of Americans are looking for work.

The national unemployment rate is hovering just above 8%, but even when you'd expect more than enough workers a local staffing company is having trouble filling positions.

The folks at J&L Staffing and Recruiting help people find work in positions from labor to production, but lately filling all of those positions hasn't been easy.

"I'd been out of work for a while and my transportation situation was a little bit tight," said Jim Campbell, a journeyman & electrician.

That's why Jim went to J&L Staffing and Recruiting in Sioux City in February.

"They put me to work that same day I came in here, you know, and they were on the lookout for me for a better job," said Campbell.

It's getting harder to find success stories like Jim's lately, the folks at J&L say it's been hard finding workers.

"We've got a lot of work," said Wayne Mercural, Senior Vice President of Executive Recruiting at J&L Enterprises Staffing & Recruiting in Sioux City. "We've got a lot of positions to fill."

The company has more than one hundred positions to fill in June alone, a number that's been on the rise for the last half year.

According to Mercural, the reason for those numbers is because companies in Siouxland have been hiring more.

"We're going outside the community, trying to pull people in from the surrounding areas where maybe unemployment is a little higher," said Mercural.

Having trouble filling jobs isn't the news you'd expect to hear, especially when the national unemployment rate rose from 8.1% to 8.2% in May.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Labor says Siouxland's unemployment rate is 5%, all of which leaves the folks at J&L wondering why.

"There should be enough people to fill the positions," said Mercural. "But we have a lot of jobs to fill."

Perhaps it's a sign that the economy, at least in Siouxland, has turned the corner.

The folks over at J&L also say that part of the reason it's been hard to fill positions lately is because there are a lot of skilled and technical positions that need filled.

It can be difficult to find those specialized, skilled workers.