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In North Carolina, The Problem is Overemployment

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Jobs fill the papers, many of which go vacant for months.
RALEIGH — The Triangle's economy is booming, and that means that there are plenty ofjobs to go around. That's the good news. The bad news is that employers are having a tough time fillingthose jobs.

At just under two percent, the Triangle has the fifth lowest unemployment rate in the nation. Because ofthat low rate, folks vying for entry-level jobs are being treated to higher pay and more benefits. SomeMcDonald's restaurants offer entry-level jobs paying $8.00 an hour.

It has become an applicants' market as employers try to make their jobs more attractive. The restaurantbusiness is finding it difficult to find good help. Vincent Barresi owns Vincent's Pizza in Raleighsays that he wants experienced workers, but hiring an experienced worker means leaving another restaurantlooking for help.

"The people that are real good and have the experience are already workingsomewhere," Barresi says. "They're not going to come in off the streets.We're going to have to pull them away from somebody."

The Employment Security Commission's Michele Tavernise says that it's simply a matter of numbers.

While he searches for good help, Vincent works about 70 hours a week. Like many other owners, Vincenthas been forced to fill in their own employment gaps.

Saturday, the Employment Security Commission is teaming up with employers for the first time ever.CareerFest 1997 starts Saturday at the Kerr Scott Building on the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh from 10a.m. to 6 p.m. Thirty employers will be interviewing and conducting workshops on how to get the job you want.

andKerrieHudzinski

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