Wichita companies hiring, but struggling to fill positions

WICHITA, Kan. Too many jobs, not enough people: That's the problem Wichita faces and it's slowing growth for the city, according to the latest update from the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University.

With Wichita companies hiring and not enough people to fill the jobs, Jeremy Hill with Wichita State says the challenge for those companies now is recruiting.

Compared to Omaha, Kansas City and Oklahoma City, average salaries in Wichita are lower, even though the economy is strong. Hill says that's because employers still have the power.

"In a town like ours you see a lot more power when we have large companies who just don't have to increase wages because there aren't a lot of other opportunities," Hill says.

But now that Wichita has more jobs than workers, that's about to change.

"It's the talent outside of the community that we're trying to recruit and if they choose not to come here, we need to know why," says Mike Mathia who's worked in human resources for more than two decades.

He says Wichita also needs to not be afraid to change. Changes underway in the city include revitalizing the downtown area.

"A gathered vision that community has for what they want to become and that brings talent here more than anything," Hill says.