A few days after a recent surge of job openings, electricians are lining up in North Carolina.
Here’s what you need to know about them.
DURHAM, N.C. — With the unemployment rate in Durham at a near-record 10 percent, local electricians say they’re struggling to find enough people to fill the vacant positions that have become common in recent years.
The shortage of qualified electricians has led some to consider moving to other cities to fill in.
But some, like electrician Mike Williams, aren’t interested.
“I have no desire to move anywhere,” Williams told The Washington Posts.
“We’re not getting much help here.”
Williams, 39, said he started looking for a job in Durham in April.
He was working as an electrician in the city when he received an email from a friend asking if he could apply for a full-time job at an electric company.
The job offer, he said, came after the company had been hiring for about two weeks.
Williams said he took the job at the Durham Electric Cooperative, which was hiring about a dozen people a day and was about to expand to a larger facility in Durham.
“It was a very hard decision,” Williams said.
He said he was surprised when he was hired, even though he’d worked for a contractor for two years.
He said the new job was in an office, not a factory.
Williams said the company has a good track record of recruiting and retaining electricians, but said the demand for workers has not kept up with the supply.
“The demand has gone down since the recession,” he said.
Williams was paid $23 an hour, well below what he made at the contractor.
The electrician said he’d have to take a pay cut to keep up.
Williams and his co-workers are among many people seeking work in Durham, a city of more than 11 million people.
A recent report by the nonprofit, The Durham Center for the Study of Employment Opportunities, found Durham was one of several cities where more than 100 percent of its population had lost jobs.
In Durham, that number rose to 96.9 percent.
In the last few years, Durham has added more than 300 jobs, and its unemployment rate has fallen to 8.7 percent, according to The Durham News and Observer.
The city’s unemployment rate, which has been above the national average since mid-2015, is much lower than the state’s.
Durham is one of just a handful of cities where unemployment has risen faster than in the rest of the state, according the state Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But its unemployment has been falling since mid 2016.
The Durham Electric Co., which provides electricity to about 4 million homes and businesses in the area, has seen its stock price plunge as companies and individuals have cut jobs.
The company has cut more than 8,000 jobs in the past year.
While the company said the layoffs are necessary to meet the company’s business needs, the company declined to provide specific figures.
But according to the News and Inquirer, the layoffs have resulted in a sharp drop in the companys stock price.
Durham has been hit hard by the economic downturn, with more than half of its jobs lost between 2013 and 2016, according data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
In 2017, the city was ranked the fifth most polluted in the country, according a report from the environmental group Sierra Club.
The report said the pollution in Durham was more than twice the state average.
The city’s population was 5.2 million in the year ending in April, according Topps.
In a statement to The Washington Times, a spokesperson for the Durham City Council said the council is reviewing the hiring practices of other electric companies in the region.
“Council has taken steps to address the staffing issues with other local electric companies and to provide greater transparency,” the statement said.
“However, we cannot speculate on how long the company will continue to operate or where its future operations may lead.”