RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Some of the biggest names in the Triangle’s tech ecosystemare looking to hire even as COVID continues to pose a threat to the economy. And healthcare providers are looking to fill many open jobs as the COVID Delta variant continues to spread.

The hiring news comes as no surprise to Brooks Raiford, head of the N.C. Technology Association.

“I talk to CEOs and hiring managers regularly, both in the tech sector and in companies generally that need high-skilled workers, and they seem to be hiring rapidly due to business demand,” Raiford says.

But wanting a bigger work force and hiring one are different matters.

A big challenge is a drop in the North Carolina laborforce participation rate, says North Carolina State University economist Dr. Mike Walden.

“Although the state unemployment rate has fallen from close to 14% during the recession to almost 4% in summer, 2021, the state’s labor force participation rate is still well below its pre-pandemic levels,” Walden wrote in a recent report.

To get people back to work will require numerous changes, Walden added.

NC jobs mismatch: Openings exceed number of people looking for work

“The pandemic has already generated large changes in the labor market.  The challenge will be for adequate training and re-training programs to accommodate these changes,” he said.

Not to be overlooked are increasing fears about COVID-19 Delta as well as expanding workforce requirements that employees be vaccinated. Many people have their own reasons for not getting jabbed.

Here’s a look at the Triangle jobs scene based on information from NCWorks.

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NCWorks, the statewide job search portal run by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, has nearly 100 career centers located across the state. Users can filter NCWorks’ database by keyword, location, occupation group or specific occupations, minimum acceptable salary, education level, job sources and date posted. NCWorks also has a mobile app on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

The NCWorks website contains a COVID-19 job board that lists companies hiring to fill immediate technical and healthcare needs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

North Carolina military veterans, transitioning service members and spouses can find additional resources on NCWorks’ separate veterans portal.

NCWorks reports thousands of available positions. More than 3,400 people added or updated their resumes at the site in the past week, as of Sunday afternoon.

Here are the top 10 Wake County-based employers with the most job openings:

  • WakeMed Health and Hospitals: 1,788 jobs
  • Wake County Public School System: 1,422
  • Deloitte: 1,235
  • NC State University: 1,067
  • UNC Health Care System: 1,066
  • EY: 551
  • McDonald’s Corporation: 510
  • UNC Rockingham Health Care: 501
  • Facebook: 481
  • IBM: 455

Here are the top companies/organizations by job openings in Durham County:

  • IBM: 1,553
  • Duke University: 1,494
  • Duke Careers: 694
  • IQVIA: 690
  • Laboratory Corporation of America: 527 (Side news: Labcorp recently raised its minimum hourly pay to $15)
  • Fidelity Investments: 466
  • Duke University and Duke University Health System: 340
  • Cisco Systems: 298
  • Durham Public Schools: 289
  • BAYADA Home Health Care: 212

And here are the top employers in Orange County:

  • UNC Health Care System: 1,134
  • UNC-Chapel Hill: 658
  • UNC Rockingham Health Care: 517
  • UNC Health: 439
  • Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools: 184
  • ARAMARK Corporation: 137
  • Food Lion: 87
  • Harris Teeter: 84
  • Piedmont Health Services: 63
  • Hyatt Hotels Corporation: 61