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Town Bursting With Vacancies


There is a town, which meets difficulties on a job market in an unusual way. It is Woodward, Oklahoma. In this town vacancies can’t be closed, as they many times prevail over the number of unemployed people, and it’s starting to arouse new difficulties. Population of the town is not seeking employment, and many want ads remain without any attention, even the ones, which had the call formerly.


Under the influence of the natural gas and oil boom employees were enticed away from not long time ago sought after positions to the oil fields. About 20$ an hour is a starting wage here to a person with no experience, furthermore, one can walk around and choose from a large amount of offers. "If you can walk and breathe out here, you can get a good job," President of the Industrial Foundation in Woodward, LaVern Phillips told The Associated Press.


Unemployment rate in Woodward much differs from the country’s rate, in August it reached an all-time lowest level - 2 percent, while the country’s rate is noticeably higher and averages 8%. The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reports, that the state of Oklahoma has the fourth lowest rate of unemployment in the nation, which is at 4.7 percent. However, there are less people in service sector, while in the mining there appeared more than 6,200 jobs last year. Obviously, it can be explained with the higher salaries. As Mr. Phillips said: "Everybody is having a tough time hiring. It's a good problem to have."


Not everyone can agree with the statement. Kenny Vassar, a local Dairy Queen owner, is out of the last forces; as there are not enough employees, he has to go to extreme measures and shorten the working day. Not long time ago he could simply hire senior students or housewives, but at the present moment everyone, who wants to work, finds job in the oil fields. Vassar gives such explanation: "We've got kids that don't have to work anymore because Dad is making $28 an hour in the oil field, and the wives don't have to get out and work. We've got women out there driving oil trucks for $28 an hour."


In 2008 natural gas prices increased dramatically along with growth of the U.S. natural gas demand. After that reduction of gas prices is observed, that is why producers gradually concentrated on oil and other liquids. The nation’s oil and gas boom caused expansion of drilling and livened such small Oklahoma town economically. There are excellent work opportunities in this town, and it is becoming the reason of shortage of dwelling and full occupancy of the hotels.


Woodard is a distinguished site for people, who are ready to work hard and a lot, to score rapid financial success. All professions are required there. Harmon said, "Those people that are looking for jobs everywhere, they just better figure on moving."


Carl Harmon is the person, who doubled his wage, when he left work on a grain elevator and got a job in a drilling crew operating across western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. Very often he exceeds the fixed hours and works up to 60 or 80 hours a week, as he believes "That's what makes you money in the oil field is the overtime."


Work in the oil fields provides employees with such good money, that even the government is pressed for shortage of the staff. This year 8 prisoners have almost escaped because the state prison has not enough security to watch over them.


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