“Usually more jobs and a larger workforce results in a decreasing unemployment rate, but that’s not the case in Shenandoah or Warren County,” Nikki Foster of the Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce says.
It’s an interesting conundrum to be in, and its something we’re working every day to come up with creative solutions for the problem.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the state of Virginia is at 2.9%. Shenandoah County lands at 3.0 and Warren County’s rate is slightly higher with an unemployment rate of 3.1. But both are lower than the national average of 3.8… And it’s actually the overall low unemployment rate in the counties that create challenges for those looking to hire.
“It’s a more competitive job market, not for the people who are looking for jobs, but for the employers. The people who are looking for jobs have a lot of jobs to choose from.” Foster says.
Nikki Foster of the Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce says although it’s a challenge, it’s also a tremendous opportunity.
“When you’ve got an open job market like we’ve got you’ve got the opportunity to attract really good folks to the area to be here and to help us continue to improve the quality of life in front royal and Warren County,” Foster says.
Both counties have lower unemployment rates and larger labor forces than they did at the same time last year. The chamber says many people travel outside of the counties to look for work, not realizing that many opportunities are right in their back yard.
“I think it’s next to impossible for us to know everything about the community that we live in that’s why organizations like the chamber exist, to try and help get as much information out as possible,” Foster says.
The chamber is holding a job fair Tuesday at Samuels Public Library and says attendees should be prepared for on the spot interviews.