Unemployment Rate in Reeves County Higher Than National Average 8/28/12
CBS 7 News
August 28, 2012
Reeves County, TX - A couple of months ago the City of Pecos was labeled one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, but according to recent numbers from the Texas Workforce Commission, Reeves County's jobless rate went up a tenth of a percent from June and is now at 10. 3 percent.
It’s higher than the national average: 8.3 percent and the state average: 7.2 percent.
Rozzana Mata with Work Force Solutions of the Permian Basin says the numbers are not accurate. A majority of the employers are based out of the county.
“If you’re check is not signed in Reeves County, then you are not employed there,” Mata said.
She says another bulk of the percentage comes from under qualified workers.
“In Reeves County only about 50 percent of the job seekers who are 25 and older only have a high school diploma,” Mata said.
Mata says she services about 200 unemployed applicants a month in Reeves County alone and a few of those applicants are passing up jobs in search for something better.
“It's a big oil boom a lot of them want big bucks and right now minimum wage is something that they are not willing to work for,” she said.
WTC says entry-level jobs in the restaurant and hotel businesses are still paying minimum wage ($7.25 per hr.) in Reeves County. They say if the employers would raise their hourly wage, the unemployment rate would go down.
Jaime Pereyra was just approved for a job. He says more people should be aware of the programs Workforce Solutions has to offer.
“It helped me out a lot with the services they have,” Pereyra said.
To put it into perspective on how Reeves County compares to its neighboring counties, Ward County’s unemployment rate is 6.5 percent and Pecos County’s unemployment rate is 5.7 percent.
WTC says Reeves County is one of the largest counties in Texas, but when the population is low the unemployment rate will always appear high.
The number of people employed in the county rose by 15, to 4,382 workers.
“Choosing to come to Reeves County, there is a lot of work, but again it's the education and experience that's important,” Mata said.
You can call Work Force Solutions in Reeves County at:432-445-9664