There’s a shortage of workers across Maine’s economy, but job seekers are having a tough time rejoining the workforce because jobs don’t match their skills and other concerns, a survey released Thursday by the Maine Department of Labor found.
The July survey of more than 2,600 unemployment insurance claimants and active job seekers found that 34 percent cited job and skill mismatches and 31 percent cited COVID-19 concerns. Job quality concerns also were among the top complaints, with 29 percent citing insufficient wages. Another 15 percent cited lack of child care.
“This survey reinforces the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to getting Maine people back to work,” Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman said.
Other barriers cited by respondents included age-related discrimination, difficulty getting interviews in a competitive market and self-employment challenges related to the economic recession.
The survey also asked respondents what they needed to return to work. The most, some 32 percent, said they needed a relevant job opportunity or lead. Another 20 percent cited additional skills training opportunities. Some 14 percent said affordable housing, which has been a critical issue as housing and rental prices escalate.
About 600 people filed initial claims for state unemployment insurance for the week that ended Sept. 11, down 100 from the previous week, the Maine labor department said Thursday.