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Some C.O. employers struggling to fill positions


Oregon’s unemployment rate is breaking records. At 4 percent last month, it’s the lowest it’s been since comparable records began being kept in 1976. But not everyone is enjoying this milestone.

Like many, Bend business owner Ron Platt is feeling the effects of the low jobless rate. He’s been trying to find qualified people to work at his business Wash & Lube Time for quite awhile.

“It’s just really hard to find people,” Platt said Tuesday, “It’s just a real issue trying to find qualified employees and trying to find employees that obviously can do the job.”

The state’s unemployment numbers are significantly lower than the national average, which is 4.7 percent, and the number of unemployed Oregonians has dropped to around 82,000 people.

That also means a smaller labor pool for employers.

“As the economy reaches full employment and as our unemployment rate continues to decrease, we have already seen that there’s a tight labor market, and it’s becoming more challenging for businesses to find qualified workers,” said workforce analyst Kalra Castillo.

On the flip side, job-seekers gain the upper hand.

“There are more opportunities,” Castillo said. “Also, they have the opportunity to bargain for a higher wage.”

For now, Platt continues his search for a good candidate and keeps his business running, even when he’s short-handed.

“It’s real difficult,” he said.”Of course, we’ve got to take care of the customers — that’s number one. As far as book work, I can do that at night, but it’s mainly taking care of the customer service. You just pick it up and get it done.”

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