Employment Agencies Feeling the Economic Pinch

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA--Normally, when an employment agency sees an increase of over 50% in the number of people asking for help would be good news, but the employment crunch is taking it's toll on them too, making it harder to help those in need.

"We've called over 100 companies, asking for any positions available that we can help them fill and they've all said no," Cathy Rodriguez, Sr. Staffing Manager at SOS Staffing in Odessa, said.

Rodriguez says they knew this day would come, they just weren't expecting it to hit so hard, "What we used to have in the past, we had more clients and not enough employees.  Right now, we have more people looking for work than we have work available for them."

According to Rodriguez, "some companies have stopped using their services, since applicants are going straight to the source to look for work. They know how it is out there so they know they can find these people on their own.  They know they're walking in the doors."

Jobs that have been hard to fill in the past are getting snatched up, even if they are only temporary.  "We can call somebody up that is looking for a job, who is not making any money and they will say, 'yeah, I will take that job for three days or for a week,'" Rodriguez explained.

But it's not just skilled and un-skilled workers feeling the pinch, degreed professionals are too.
Bonnie Owens, with SOS Professionals explains, "We fill the direct hires, the management level, the executive level positions. Yes, we've seen it slow down, but we still have positions going.  We still have job positions we're trying to fill."

The staff at SOS says things should pick back up by the summer, but if for some reason they don't, they're staying positive and passing that attitude on to their clients.

"We have to be prepared.  We have to have those people signed up with us.  We have to have their paperwork done, because we do expect that big boom to hit again."

SOS Staffing recommends you contact as many different employment agencies as you can for larger variety of job opportunities.   They also encourage applicants to sign up at the Workforce Commission, since they post their job openings on their website.