Jobs, wages grow: Economic rebound ahead, experts believe

It’s been a tough year for local residents who lost jobs last spring to pandemic-related business shutdowns, but it appears there is an economic rebound on the horizon. That’s the opinion of Gary Hoyes, co-owner of Spherion Staffing of Chambersburg.

Franklin County’s unemployment rate is still almost 6%. But Hayes says his agency can’t find takers for between 150-250 good-paying mostly entry-level job openings that need to be filled right now.

Mike Ross, head of Franklin County Area Development Corp., says the county now has about 3,000 open jobs waiting to be filled. A shortage of job applicants has driven starting wages up also, he said.

Hayes as well as Ross see an economic rebound on the horizon for Franklin County.

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“As we head into the end of the year, my team is excited about supporting the economic rebound regionally in Franklin County,” Hayes said. “We’re looking forward to providing jobs for the area’s hard-working residents.”

Spherion is co-owned by Tammy Feaster.

Entry level jobs offer good wages, training

economic rebound

Wages start at up to $16 per hour, and in some cases more. Most of the open positions are entry level and offer the opportunity to train in a new skillset.

“We are swamped with open jobs,” Hayes said. “And we have a variety of jobs, from warehouse to manufacturing. The majority require basic skills sets.”

Hayes believes that, given the nature of the work, most of the jobs will appeal to those already working in manufacturing or displaced in the hospitality and retail industries.While many of the jobs involve lifting and physical activity, some are more sedentary positions.

The open positions are for picker-packer, forklift, warehouse and manufacturing roles.

“Most are internet-based,” Hayes said. “People are changing the way they are buying, and (the pandemic) has increased that trend.”

Agencies like Spherion are tasked with filling the jobs created by that change in buying trends as internet-based stores rush to fill increased orders, especially at this time of year.

Jobs, but no takers

Yet Hayes blames the pandemic for also making it harder to fill those jobs.

“Many people are afraid right now,” he said, especially with COVID-19 cases hitting peak numbers.

The transition of schools to virtual learning during the pandemic has also affected the job market, Hayes believes. With children at home, many families have had to make the difficult decision of one parent staying home.

Just as the fall surge in COVID-19 cases has triggered an increase in online shopping and home delivery orders; it has made many leery of face-to-face interviews and workforce safety issues, Hayes said.

economic rebound

“We do Zoom and telephone interviews, and private meetings where job seekers can feel more secure,” he said.

If you are’ interested in applying for the open positions, call (717) 262-2430 or apply at this link.

Workers looking for job opportunities in addition to these open positions should contactSpherion Staffing Chambersburg.


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