Our workforce skills gap (Pennsylvania)

Franklin County’s economy is experiencing nearly unprecedented growth due in large part to our strategic location that is within a one-day drive of 50% of the North American population and our workforce, which is prized among employers large and small.  Our growth has been such that our statistically calculated unemployment rate is 4%, which is a rate considered by most economists to represent full employment.

While our reported unemployment rate is very favorable, it is misleading.  Many of our employers have vacant positions they cannot fill simply because there are not enough qualified applicants.  In a recent Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry survey, more than half — 52 percent — said it is very difficult, at best, to recruit qualified job candidates, and 56 percent believe it will get worse by 2021. Only 21 percent — one in five — give the current labor force marks for job readiness of “excellent” or “good.”

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