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Hampton Roads employers seek help to get more workers

Hampton Roads Workforce Council provided the latest data showing more than 26,000 people are unemployed.

NORFOLK, Va. — It's common to see more hiring signs and job listings across the country and in Hampton Roads.

For some employers, it's a good way to meet future workers. But for some business owners, the workforce is a struggle.

Leona Stepaniak, the senior field accounts manager at Power Labor, said she is finding a difficult time to get and keep employees.

“The negative, we see is getting people to work. That has been a big issue. I think here in this area," Stepaniak said.

The Hampton Roads Workforce Council estimates that 26,804 people are unemployed in the area. They believe the pandemic changed a lot of applicants' mindsets.

“I would say that one is more alarming but I think that goes to show us that people are just now re-evaluating life, reevaluating the industries they want to go into," said Hampton Roads Workforce Council Director of Business Deborah Bailey.

The council said many people are seeking CDL driver positions but not applying to hospitality jobs.

“We’re seeing a spike in administrative positions. We have had plenty of hiring events for the department of corrections and many people now are transitioning to that industry," Bailey said.

The council is encouraging anyone looking for a job to meet them, use their services and meet potential employers like Stepaniak.

Stepaniak said the Hampton Roads Workforce Council set up part of its Norfolk building for employers to conduct interviews and job fairs. The council said it is under renovation but employers can use the office for free.

The council sent 13News Now other data about employment in Hampton Roads (15 localities) sourced from Lightcast. As of December 2021:

  • Total Population: 1,772,814 
  • Labor Force Participation (The total number of people employed and unemployed during the most recent month where data is available): 831,265
  • Total Number Employed: 804,460
  • Total Number Unemployed: 26,804

The most sought-after jobs based on their hiring events: 

  • Maritime industry.
  • Virginia State Police and Department of Corrections (Their hiring events have been very heavily attended).
  • Administrative positions.
  • Technical trades.

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