PERMIAN BASIN, Texas (Nexstar) — It’s no secret – there’s a labor shortage in the energy sector.

Here in the Permian Basin, it’s even more pronounced as a large number of energy sector jobs are scattered locally.

Willie Taylor, Permian Basin Workforce Board CEO, says the current job market is an applicant’s market.

This means, if you’re looking for work in the energy industry, especially in oil and gas, you might have luck finding it.

“We actually have a skilled worker shortage more than anything in the region,” said Taylor. “It’s just been a slow, slow process.

Taylor says the employment levels at the present are much lower than pre-pandemic levels.

According to the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, 63,000 oil exploration and production jobs were lost in 2020. Most of this is due to the pandemic. Since then, about 18,000 jobs have returned.

To help to recover some of those jobs, professionals like Taylor suggest employers become more creative in their employment offerings to appeal to workers.

“Our board manages about a $30 million budget. And probably 65% of that budget is childcare dollars,” said Taylor.

Taylor adds that his organization works with about 140 childcare providers here in the Permian Basin; they subsidize childcare for about 2,000 children.

If you’re a job seeker, you can visit the Permian Basin Workforce Board to see what they can do for you by clicking here.