Service, retail jobs see unemployment decrease

These job sectors were able to attract workers.
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 8:44 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Back in July, the City of Wichita Falls experienced a setback with hiring workers. The city often found itself giving workers overtime to cover the lack of staff members they had, but now things have changed.

The same goes for Market Street, last year they found themselves in a worker shortage and filled in the gap by using employees to cover various duties.

“There are 99 jobs open,” said Chris Horgen, Public Information Officer for the City of Wichita Falls.

That’s a great number compared to six months ago when the city was trying to fill about 400 hundred positions.

“We have shortened the gap if you will when it comes to the number of openings we have, when it comes to six months ago, eight months ago, simply because more people have applied and more people have responded to a proactive approach that the city has taken in job fairs and getting the word out that we’ve got great jobs and for people that want to better their community,” said Horgen.

The regional vice president for Market Street said they made it through some tough times.

“We’ve seen a lot of people work some overtime, working in some departments they’re not normally used to working in and so we’ve really juggled it a little bit to still give that ultimate service that we’re accustomed to giving,” said Allen Smith.

Workforce Solutions of North Texas reported that Wichita County saw a decrease in unemployment numbers. In December 2020, the unemployment rate stood at 6.5%, fast forward to December 2021 and it declined to 3.9%.

Incentives could be the answer to the decline.

“Wages went up in the city after a study was done last year recommending that the city needs to up their pay scale, so that was across the board pretty much for everybody. So the wages have gotten better, and the benefits for the city are just amazing,” explained Horgen.

“We have a $250 sign-on bonus as far as getting people in the door, a little incentive getting them here. Also, we have some incentives for team members here that recommend one of their friends to come and work here,” said Smith.

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