More than 4 % of the U.S. Labor Force has now been out of work for more than six months. That should mean a ready pool of applicants for any jobs that open up.
But a number of employers report the are having trouble filling some open positions. One Blair county company that is usually looking for more workers, even during a down economy, is the NPC, a printing and document company located near Claysburg. Company officials there report that while they have hand enough applications to meet their current needs, they are still looking for additional workers who have specific technical skills and the proper attitude for successful employment.
More than 15 million Americans are currently looking for work. But the skill sets of those potential employees don't necessarily match the needs of companies that have open jobs. That's why career counselors say its important for job seekers to prepare carefully. The job development office at Penn State Altoona reports in certain fields like engineering and health care, available jobs often outnumber applicants. But in many other fields, desirable jobs can be hard to come by.
U.S. Labor Department studies indicate that many of those currently unemployed lack needed job skills. Other labor analysts say extended jobless benefits may be one more reason many potential workers are staying out of the current job market.