The most recent unemployment rate numbers reported for Bradley County has dropped to 7.2 percent from a once high of 10.6 percent in March 2009 to a the most recent low, since March 2006, of 4.1 percent in May 2007.
It’s the lowest in three years, with 243,000 jobs added across the country in January.
The recent 7.2 percent unemployment figure was the lowest since the 6.7 percent recorded in November 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
If you look around, employment ads can be found in newspapers, online at various websites — both for specific industries and also a listing of a myriad of different job openings, as well as several employment agencies that have job listings.
One recent random search from one of the better known job sites, monster.com, listed 32,989 job openings on its site in the entire state of Tennessee; 4,395 jobs within 50 miles of Cleveland; and 709 job openings within 25 miles of Cleveland. These openings ranged from medical records specialists to truck drivers, from restaurant assistant managers to lab technicians, nurses to mechanics, occupational therapists to sales specialists, etc.
Some community service agencies also help with job listings, some for the general public and others just for their clients. The jobs run the gamut, from many medical-related jobs to sales, police officer to professors, manufacturing to engineering, machine operator to customer service rep, and more. In fact, one company displayed a notice on one of its trucks that said the company was looking ‘Now hiring service techs.’
But what do the employment experts have to say about the local job situation?
Employment experts in the area report that the local job and unemployment situation in Bradley County seems to be better than a majority of the rest of the country.
Wendy B. Hagan, regional account executive, with 19 years experience in the employment field, and Tyreia McKelvey, staffing supervisor, with 15 years experience, work with clients and job openings every day at Express Employment Professionals.
“We all know about the economic downturn,” McKelvey said. At the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009, the employment openings declined due to what was happening across the country economically.
And staffing firms were the first to feel the decline between 2008 and 2009. But these same firms, such as Express Employment Professionals, also are the first to come back when the economy improves.
“Express Employment Professionals has a national footprint,” Hagan said. So, since the economy across the country is starting to improve, so are listings increasing at Express Employment Professionals.
Cleveland, in particular, is experiencing growth due to several companies, like Amazon and Wacker, moving into the area, as well as VW and its vendors nearer to Chattanooga.
“And these folks need local talent ... and they’re starting to compete for the top talent,” Hagan said. As a result, the demand for the traditional unskilled labor force is picking up, as well as the skilled technical market is growing. “It’s a good sign.”
With 650 offices across the U.S., Canada and South America, the company has a lot of listings across the U.S. to offer clients.
“We’re a full-service agency,” McKelvey said. McKelvey and Hagan help job seekers and companies looking for employees connect for direct hire/management jobs, long-term assignments, temporary to permanent placement jobs, as well as temporary jobs, etc., every day. People usually think agencies like Express Employment Professionals only have low-end, entry-level jobs. That’s just not the case. These agencies have evolved and are continuing to change. “We work with many fields, from clerical to industrial, from accounting to electronics, from medical administration to engineering, from assembly to sales ... And we’re seeing jobs opening back up in many other areas as well ... And we’ve seen people relocate just to be in Eastern Tennessee.”
Although both Hagan and McKelvey aren’t fortune tellers — they can’t tell exactly what the next two to three years will be like — they do see a big uptick in engineering and technical jobs across the board. They also see jobs expanding area wide, from Cleveland to Charleston and Dayton, Benton to Decatur.
And Express Employment Professionals also offers the companies looking to hire the freedom of getting pre-qualified and talented employees that match their criteria without having to take the time and the energy from their primary goal — conducting business — to find the right people.
“The advantage to employers is to let the experts do the legwork for them,” McKelvey said.
Renay Larue and Celia Smith own the Cleveland office franchise.
For more information, just stop by the office at 213 Ocoee Crossing N.W., or go to the website at www.Expresspros.com — online applications are available, or call the local office at 479-1720 or contact Hagan by e-mail at email@example.com and/or McKelvey by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.