Why some establishments aren’t seeing the same results from the low unemployment rate

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With more and more people working in oil and construction here in the Basin the unemployment rate has reached a new low.

”We continue to be very busy and a lot of people are looking at Odessa and our market to come and do business here,” says Wesley Burnett, CEcD, the Director of Economic Development. 

Burnett says with growth comes growing pains that the city is still adjusting to. ”The reality is its very challenging, and we have to be very creative in ways to make the challenges met for the developers and the investors.”

One of those challenges being the housing shortage; ”we can’t build houses fast enough in certain price segments for folks to live,” says the Director 

A problem the Chamber of Commerce is hoping to solve. According to Burnett they are ”trying to do some things here at the Chamber and in the City. Everybody here is really trying to look at the whole big picture of how we get those people to move here and be permanent residents”

Another problem, retailers and restaurants struggling to keep up. ”Sometimes you have long waits at restaurants and long waits in lines to check out of different places and that’s a direct result of the unemployment rate,” says Burnett.

According to the Economic Development director, with everyone working in Oil, restaurants struggle to find employees. A problem that one restaurant is working towards fixing.

Chick-fil-A Marketing Director Courtney Ashley says ”a lot of  what we have done is decided to try to focus on hiring a lot of those younger age people. The people that may not have a lot of work experience we get them in here, and we train them,” A system that seems to be working for them.

”Comparing us to other Restaurants in the area our turnover is extremely low. Mainly because once we do get them in there we do cultivate them in our culture, and they stay,” says Ashley.


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