As unemployment drops, Sevier County businesses struggle to find workers

(Public Domain)

SEVIERVILLE (WATE) – Businesses in Sevier County are getting creative to fill open positions.

Allen Newton, the Executive Director of Sevier County Economic Development, said with the unemployment rate falling below three percent in Sevier County, many businesses are struggling to find quality employees. He said some businesses are starting a “job share” concept, where two separately owned businesses work together to provide 40 hours to an employee at both businesses.

Related: 2 job fairs to be hosted in Sevier County in July

Results of a study commissioned by Sevier County Economic Development found lack of affordable housing made it difficult for the area to attract a quality workforce. This was intensified after November 2016 wildfires. The study found that workers that live outside of Sevier County, but work in the county account for 43.9 percent of workers.

Report: Gatlinburg fires intensified lack of affordable housing

Newton said the Sevier County Economic Development Council, along with Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville are also planning to host two jobs fairs from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 pm. on July 20 at Smokies Baseball Park and July 25 at Rocky Top Sports World. He said the council is hoping to lure potential employees from surrounding counties, such as Knox, Jefferson and Cocke counties.

The deadline for businesses to apply for both job fairs is Friday. The cost is $75 for participation in one job fair or $100 to participate in both.

More: Registration form

The Sevier County Economic Development also has a jobs site. Businesses can list openings for free.

 

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