By Madeleine Wright

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As the economy recovers from the pandemic, companies are struggling to find workers to fill jobs, and many employers say they’re having to step up their game to attract top talent.

With the economy growing fast as it reopens from the pandemic, employers are scrambling to hire.

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Now job seekers have the upper hand.

“I’m looking for another job close to me that I’m able to go to work by bus,” said Abu Bakar.

On Thursday, 75 companies from nine different industries from health care to retail looked for qualified candidates at a job fair at Citizens Bank Park, some offering incentives in a competitive job market.

“I think the good talent are at positions with companies now, not willing to leave,” said Bill Penecale, with the EF Precision Group.

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All the employers here are offering positions paying at least $15 an hour — higher than the minimum wage in Pennsylvania, $7.25 an hour, which is the same as the federal rate. In New Jersey, the minimum wage is $13 an hour, and in Delaware, $10.50 an hour.

“There is a war for talent,” Philadelphia Works CEO and President H. Patrick Clancy said. “I think employers know they have to pay more or have other amenities such remote working.”

These employers are trying to fill up 2,000 open positions.

If they do, it would help the state reach its goal of lowering the jobless rate.

In March 2022, the unemployment rate in Pennsylvania was 4.9%, in New Jersey, 4.2% and in Delaware, 4.5%, all higher than the national rate of 3.6%.

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If you missed this job fair, there is another opportunity. The Free Library of Philadelphia is hosting a career fair at its main branch next month.

Madeleine Wright