BY COREY LEWIS – FOUNDER, OWNER AND PRESIDENT, CAPE FEAR JOBS
This is the second article in a two-part series. Read the first article here.
If you enjoyed Part 1 of this article on where the local talent is, Part 2 should not disappoint you.
When I started Cape Fear Jobs I made a promise to myself that I would be as honest and transparent as I possibly could, no matter the consequences. That quality is very important to me in the people I come across every day and just as important in the businesses and clients I team with.
Having said that, let’s get into Part 2: “Where are the jobs?”
If I can point to one of the most controversial topics I work through on a daily basis, it is this question. Why is it steeped in controversy? Simple – because there are groups and individuals that, no matter what, will stand on their platform and tell you the job market here is growing, is great and that there’s nothing to worry about.
Do you agree? Well, if you’re not a part of the job market every day, as I am, you may not know the state of jobs here in the Cape Fear. To put it simply, it’s not all the sunshine and rainbows as you’re being told in the media.
But it’s not all gloom and doom either. Let me explain.
You know the main job sectors: retail, healthcare, hospitality, finance, real estate and tech. All of these are hiring every day and, without question, are the industries that keep this area moving. But not everyone can work in just those industries… or want to, for that matter. We have struggling industries, such as the skilled trades, that can’t find workers at all and have hundreds of job openings throughout the region.
Our industrial and manufacturing is minimal, and the jobs are few and far between but there are companies growing and new ones, like National Gypsum, that have brought jobs to parts of Wilmington and Leland.
The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce recently put out the Second Quarter Economic Growth Update, which centered on the unemployment rate and job growth. If you know me, you know I absolutely despise workforce and job stats because they are inherently skewed and do not show the entire picture.
The recent numbers were that our unemployment rate is down to 3.4 percent and we had a combined tri-county job growth of 7.4 percent. What these numbers do not show is that the unemployment rate does not match the amount of total people looking for jobs and the growth rate does not match the need for jobs.
And here’s some food for thought – is the job growth due to the over-development of our area, or at least a large portion of it?
So, what are job seekers to do? Where are the jobs outside of the main sectors? The $40,000-$70,000 jobs that people need to survive? They are out there, but job seekers need to be diligent in their search. If you’re not networking, start building a pipeline of connections. The worst thing to do is apply and wait. Get out there and beat down some doors, be aggressive and get on the radar of people like myself and companies like Cape Fear Jobs.
People are relocating here every day and over half of them will not have a job when they get here (which is just crazy to me), thus increasing the competition for jobs. But until a major company moves into the region, like has happened in Charleston, we will be stuck with what we have and will be forced to survive in the world that has been created for us.
Corey Lewis has more than 20 years of management, business development and project management experience across the retail, construction and staffing verticals. Entering into the recruiting industry in 2007 as an Executive Recruiter, Lewis spent the next seven years honing his recruiting skills and leading a local agency in developing the manufacturing sector of the company. With the support of his wife, Corey started his own boutique firm, Alliance Career Group based in Wilmington, while designing the basis for the company that would come to be known as Cape Fear Jobs. Corey found his passion for helping a struggling jobs economy in the Cape Fear Region and in 2016, Cape Fear Jobs was born. Visit the Cape Fear Jobs website or call (910) 782-2142.