The civilian workforce in Texoma remained largely unchanged with fewer than 100 jobs reportedly added for the month. According to the Texoma Workforce Commission report the unemployment rate for May in the Sherman-Denison Metropolitan Statistical Area as 2.6 percent with 64,200 people employed in the area.
The state unemployment rate was 2.9 percent with a 3.4 percent rate nationwide.
Texoma Workforce Solutions Deputy Director Marsha Lindsey said the numbers typically don’t change much from April to May when looking at year over year data.
“There are still not enough people to fill the jobs that are open,” Lindsey said. “There is still a need to add more employers to the area. They (local governments) are trying to beef up the infrastructure to bring more homes. All of our communities are open to growth. If we have good paying jobs for people, if we have good opportunities we’re going to continue to see more people moving here. We’re mot seeing large (population) increases but that is yet to come.”
She said the labor market is strong, and the challenge for employers remains bringing people to the area and keeping them. Lindsey said the manufacturing jobs tend to do better at maintaining loyal workers where as the retail and restaurant sectors — she called unskilled labor force — tend to move from job to job more frequently as they look for better conditions.
“We are still seeing more jobs than we have people to fill those jobs,” she said. “Something (employers) are interest in is getting more available people to fill positions. If you go to hotels, restaurants they have signs up. It’s not just here in our county, employers are wanting to hire people.”
Hurdles that might keep someone from moving to the area to seek those jobs are family and social factors. Lindsey said if a family has kids who are in high school they are less likely to transfer them to a new school or community. She said often people will move off to college and discover they don’t like living in the city and return later in life which is common in the area.
Local governments, Lindsey said, are trying to build up infrastructure in anticipation of the people coming in to fill current openings as well as future potential jobs as new businesses relocate to the area.
“The tend has been it is tightening up,” Denison Development Alliance Vice Principal of Business Development William Myers said. “It continues to be a tight labor market all over the place. It is a competitive market. The entire Metroplex is extremely competitive. You have to set yourself apart to make your community a great place to live. Denison is an extremely attractive community. It has great schools, parks the market is growing there are people moving into the area. We have people moving into all the homes that are being built. These are all good signs.”