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High vacancies and an aging population define Craven’s workforce

Craven County’s unemployment rates are lower than they were before the pandemic, belying the region’s high job vacancy rates.

With nearly a third of the county’s total population set to retire soon, that could spell trouble – due to Craven’s growing list of job openings, but not enough people to fill those positions.

“There are still more jobs than there are people to fill them,” said Phil Prescott, business services representative for the Eastern Carolina Workforce Development Board. “It’s not that people aren’t going back to work. It’s just that we don’t have as many people to work with.”

In April, there were 45,100 salaried jobs available in Craven County, down slightly from pre-pandemic numbers with 45,200 in April 2019, according to data from the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

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