Manpower Crisis in Grand Junction

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

The job growth rate in Grand Junction is up over 5 percentage points from last year, and that means the unemployment rate is going down.

"Out of a labor force of seventy-nine thousand individuals in Mesa County, only two thousand are unemployed as we speak," said David Porfirio of the Mesa County Work Force Center. "It's very low and that's a good thing."

The Chamber of Commerce says it believes the increase is because the city has grown so much over the past year, and booming sectors like the oil and health industries have been able to create many new jobs in the Grand Valley.

But are there too many new jobs?

"We were at a pretty healthy growth rate even before the energy industry came in," said Diane Schwenke of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce. "All of these combined are creating jobs so quickly, and so many jobs, that we don't have the manpower to keep up with them."

The Work Force Center says it's these new industries that are most hurt by this lack of manpower.

"The greatest scarcities today exist in construction, transportation, health care, even in the office and administration area," said Porfirio.

The Chamber of Commerce says labor shortage is at a critical point in the community.

But to help fill some of those jobs, it is hosting a career fair at Mesa Mall on September 5.


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