In the olden days, finding new employees for a growing Maine small business was pretty simple. The owner would put a help wanted sign in the window and maybe a classified ad in the Portland Press Herald. After just a few days, the perfect candidates would present themselves.
Over the past year, however, Maine's unemployment rate plummeted from 3.8% to 3.0%. It seems everyone who wants a job has a job. This drop only intensifies the drought of qualified job candidates that is plaguing Maine small business owners.
The state's chronic labor shortage has even drawn the attention of The Washington Post.
In a recent story headlined, "2018’s Challenge: Too Many Jobs, Not Enough Workers", the Post reported, "In Maine, where flurries can fall as late as April, the state transportation department is struggling to find snowplow drivers, thanks to the increasingly tight labor market. Ski resorts in the state, meanwhile, are still looking for employees to run the slopes."
Many Maine businesses cannot grow, let alone survive without an infusion of new employees. To combat this existential challenge, these desperate business owners are turning to Portland radio to help recruit qualified candidates away from their current employers.