With economy improving, Brevard employers having tough time filling jobs

A help wanted sign

The Space Coast continued to gain jobs in March, as Brevard County pulls out of a pandemic-fueled economic downturn.

The problem now: Many employers are finding it hard to fill jobs that are available.

Brevard’s total nonagricultural employment increased to 230,000 in March, a gain of 2,400 jobs from February. The 1.1% job gain in Brevard was the seventh-highest percentage increase of the state’s 25 metropolitan areas and metropolitan divisions, according to newly released data from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

The job count in Brevard, however, remains 3,100 below the level in March 2020, at a time when the pandemic was beginning.

“I think we’re doing fantastic in Brevard County,” as the economic recovery continues, CareerSource Brevard President Marci Murphy said. “Our issue is going to be finding job-seekers to fill the open positions. Employers are having a hard time finding the job-seekers. It’s across the board.”

Murphy said the issue is widespread in the job market, including in aerospace, health care, manufacturing and retail.

CareerSource Brevard President Marci Murphy says the issue now in the job market is "finding job-seekers to fill the open positions. Employers are having a hard time finding the job-seekers. It's across the board."

“Basically, we’re sitting at full employment,” Murphy said.

Restaurant sector issues:As unemployment drops, Space Coast restaurants face a hiring crisis

More COVID-19 vaccines help:Florida labor economist: Increased COVID-19 vaccinations will help boost job picture

Downtown Melbourne shopkeepers are experiencing “significant” problems trying to hire new employees, Melbourne Main Street Executive Director Kim Agee said.

Based on results of a merchant poll, Agee plans to work with CareerSource Brevard to help inform downtown business owners about hiring resources.

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