ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar)- Total employment in Odessa is gaining ground in slow, albeit uneven fashion, gaining jobs in some months and losing jobs in others, but on balance adding jobs over time, according to Wesley Burnett, Director of Economic Development for Odessa Chamber of Commerce.
Burnett says job growth should continue as the overall economy improves and the oil and gas sector strengthens. Present estimates indicate about 32,550 employees on oil and gas company payrolls in the combined metro area which is up from the low of about 27,650 in July of a year ago but is still down by over 13,000 jobs compared to the 45,700 recorded in April 2019, the cyclical and all-time high point for industry employment in Odessa-Midland.
Odessa’s reported unemployment rate for July came in at 8.7% and fell to 7.7% in August. About 1,200 jobs have been added over the last 12 months, the first year-over-year employment growth since October 2019 when employment was on the decline.