MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — The pandemic sparked record unemployment across Tennessee
and while the state saw its lowest numbers just last week, there are still about 46,000 Tennesseans looking for work.

More than 230,000 jobs are listed as open on the state’s jobs website— 5,800 of those are in Rutherford County and the Chamber of Commerce here has made it their mission to get families in and around the country back to work.

“We have healthcare jobs, we have IT positions, we have health care customer service positions,” said Beth Duffield, the Senior Vice President of Education & Workforce Development for the chamber, “It really runs the gamut.”

A few months ago, the county had about 5,000 jobs open but companies keep coming and expanding.

“I would say most of the jobs that I’ve seen are probably on the entry to mid-level experience level positions, but some of our manufacturers are hiring quality engineers,” said Duffield.

The most recent expansions announced at Vi-Jon, Sinomax, and MAHLE.

“We are adding 140,000 square feet of new building and over 300 new people,” said Rene Clark, with MAHLE in Murfreesboro, “We’re going to continue hiring right now so that we have our people trained and ready for our launches, most of the positions are press and assembly operators.”

Throughout the county, there’s also a growing need for bilingual translators.

“When you have a diverse population that some of our manufacturers are hiring now with all the different populations moving into Middle Tennessee, translators are one of the hot commodities,” explained Duffield.

The question so many are asking, why is unemployment still so high when so many jobs are available?

Duffield said most aren’t concerned about safety, but rather childcare.

“I do think some of the challenges with schooling and schools not being open or the unknown about when your child’s school may go virtual versus in-person has put a strain on families to be able to have both parents go back to work,” she explained, “COVID is still real, and it’s still a challenge, but there are jobs out there.”

If you’re looking for a job, you can start right now on the JOBS4TN website or visit a local job center for help with computers and resumes.

News 2 is reporting on Nashville’s historic growth and the growing pains that come with it. Click here for more Nashville 2020 reports.