Jobs Go Unfilled In Traverse City

“There’s more jobs in the summer then there is people to fill them,” said Ron Robertson, Director of Operations for Summerside Properties, said.

There are a lot of “Help Wanted” signs in Traverse City. Everywhere you look, the message is the same: businesses are hiring.

“We are at an all-time low for unemployment rates,” said Laura Oblinger, Chief Operations Officer at the Traverse City Chamber of Commerce. “We are below 8 percent in this region and within the state and that’s good news.”

Good news, and bad news. With fewer candidates, it’s harder to find the quality employees they’re looking for.

“We’re hearing businesses say ‘We need more talent’ and we are hearing talent say ‘I need help finding a job.’ The trick is getting these two parties to know each other.”

Traverse City is well-known for its many businesses. The question is: why is it so hard to fill open jobs?

“The issue is not so much that the jobs are not available for either the skilled or the ‘soft-skills’ entry level positions,” Oblinger said. “It’s where to go to find them.”

Some businesses are using incentives to attract the best applicants.

Summerside Properties hotels, including Cambria Suites, have started offering benefits like healthcare.

And they like to hire local.

“We really want to hire people who live here because we’re in the guest service business and we want employees that know the area and can relate to guests.”