Job Drought - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Job Drought

The latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor statistics shows the lowest job growth in three years.

There were a total of 74,000 jobs added in December 2013 which was 129,000 fewer jobs that were created the month before in November. Unemployment fell from 7.0% to 6.7%. While the numbers are still a sign of growth, the amount of people working or looking for work fell to 62.8 %, matching a nearly 36 year low.

Mona Statser of Workforce solutions said there's been a dip in the amount of people looking for work in Wichita Falls.

"We don't have as many people in the labor force as we did last year. Our jobs are low wage, entry level jobs with all the restaurants and hotels coming in," said Statser. "We don't have the manufacturing base that we use to, so those higher paying jobs are not here."

Statser said that many of the manufacturing jobs that were lost after the recession of 2008-2009 still have yet to make their way back to our Texoma region.

"We don't have those manufacturing jobs that pay more like we did several years ago. A lot of our manufacturing jobs are offshoots of big corporate companies and they start closing locations. We have very skilled people here but they go to larger places to where they can find more people with the skills that they need," she said.

However, it's not easy to get those types of jobs back in the middle of the Wichita Falls stage 4 drought restrictions.

"Companies want to come in here and they use a lot of water they are told that we don't have it, so yes that could be an impact," said Statser.

She said that we do have skilled workers in the area, but many of them are leaving to go work in bigger sites that can offer better work for better wages.

Many of the area's jobs are created through the service sector. Jobs at places like Midwestern State University, local government and Sheppard Air Force Base have seen an increase. Until the drought ends here, there is a chance that jobs drought in our Texoma region could last a little longer.

 

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

Jack Carney Newschannel6

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