MESA, Ariz. - Currently, there is a disconnect of sorts in Arizona's job market, as tens of thousands of Arizonans remain unemployed, but employers continue to say they are struggling fill positions.
Jobseeker speaks out
Leilani Torres is one of those tens of thousand of Arizonans who are currently unemployed, and she says she is only looking for the right job.
"I wanted to start my own business. I always want something for experience," said Torres.
Torres was at a career fair at the Mesa Convention Center on Sept. 22, after previously working in restaurants and customer service centers, the same industries desperate for employees. She says the last year opened her eyes to new dreams of running a business, and the Association for Entrepreneurship says that is a key reason why so many remain on the outside of employment.
"I think we're just going to see a whole generation of people in their 20’s and 30’s really rethinking employment, and going into freelance work of starting their own business," said Wayne Goshkarian with Association for Entrepreneurship USA.
Jobseekers have the power, experts say
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the problem, as each person's situation is different, ranging from unique employment status and qualifications, childcare needs, to work hours.
As many Arizonans saw their unemployment benefits end, the state's program to help jobseekers, named Arizona At Work, has seen a steady demand of about 2,200 clients a week looking for work, but Zanzibar Vermiglio, who runs a business solutions company, says there are so many job openings, workers have the upper hand.
"A little bit more of an idea that I can be more selective and sit in my hands a little bit. Maybe I can just take a month off or two and I'll be OK. That wasn't that way three years ago," said Vermiglio.
Angel Duran with Old Castle APG says he has plenty of job openings.
"Forklift operators, maintenance technicians, maintenance electricians, maintenance managers," said Duran.
Duran agreed workers are being patient and looking for the right fit in a job that can be a career.
"They don't want to go back to what they were doing before, so they're looking for new avenues, and we do have a great opportunity for people," said Duran.
Vermiglio, however, said those who are patiently waiting for the right job do not forever. He believes the window will end in six to nine month. In addition, these jobseekers are also competing with people currently employed, as the website Bankrate says more than half of all workers are considering jumping ship to a better job in the next year.
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