FERRIER FILES: Middle Tennessee is an employee's market

FOX 17 News

If you need a job you are in the right place.

The state of Tennessee is aware of more than 35,000 job openings in Davidson County and the state will also tell you there are only 8,900 people in Davidson County without a job.

If you do the math - this is an employee’s market.

Kroger almost never has job fairs for management positions, but here it is. Kroger is looking for 30 managers - and these are good jobs.

“We actually pay you to learn for 3 to 3.5 months, and that position starts off in the mid 40's and then a $2,000 raise and you become bonus eligible at that point. This is a career where you can really move up,” Kristen Townsend, a recruiting specialist with Kroger, said.

This is the new job market for middle Tennessee 2018, where employers don't just sweeten the pot, they bring the pot to you.

Rackley Roofing president Curtis Sutton has raised average salaries 30 percent in the past three years.

“We spend a lot of money on running ads, we focus on Facebook, indeed, we go to high schools and we are constantly offering more benefits,” Sutton said.

Dental, medical, vacation, holiday pay and 401k -- all benefits not standard in construction are standard at Rackley Roofing. Even so, it has been impossible to get fully staffed.

“We are trying anything and everything to get good people to come into our door,” Sutton said.

The state of Tennessee’s American job center specializes in helping employers find workers, and it's not easy, even with 50 to 80 people moving to the midstate per day.

“Most of them are coming with jobs in hand, that's exactly how I got to Nashville, I established a job, I think a lot of the influx is already employed,” Business Services Team Director Myron Parks, Ph.D, said.

Parks specializes into showing employers how they can get training for staff. But right now he spends more time helping them obtain staff.

“It is almost like a free-agent market. Especially in skilled labor. People keep switching jobs for slightly higher salaries,” Parks said.

Kroger's management job fair drew a decent crowd. They would have liked to have seen even more candidates -- but that's the job market 2018.

“We've used different marketing tactics to get our name in front of quality candidates, so the days of 'they come to you' are a little bit over,” Townsend said.

Unemployment is now under 2.7 percent in nine middle Tennessee counties.

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