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Looming regional labor shortages must be addressed, researcher says

From Wilkes-Barre Times Leader

By Jennifer Learn-Andes –

If predictions hold true, there won’t be enough workers in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties to fill more than 10,000 jobs in a myriad of sectors over the next decade, researcher Teri Ooms told business leaders Wednesday.

While job growth is a contributor, most of the vacancies are expected to stem from older employees leaving the workforce, said Ooms, executive director of The Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development at Wilkes University.

The two-county population declined 1.4 percent from 2010 to 2016, while the annual unemployment rate in both averaged 4 percent from 2008 to 2017, according to her presentation at Wilkes-Barre’s Think Center in downtown Wilkes-Barre, which was held in partnership with the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber.

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PA Workforce Development Association