MIDLAND, Texas — Texas is adding more jobs, another sign that the state is continuing to recover from the pandemic. However, the state is still facing labor shortages, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.
One of the things that the TWC has done to address those labor shortages includes dedicating $19 million in funds for apprenticeship programs to try and fill job openings.
"The good thing is they’re trying to increase the labor pool because we have a skill shortage pretty much all over the state of Texas," Willie Taylor, CEO of the Permian Basin Workforce Board said. "So that’s when you see the Texas Workforce Commission and the governor’s office pushing out apprenticeship training."
The program has moved a little slower in the Permian Basin, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't have its benefits.
"When you look at apprenticeship training and doing your training, it’s just like any other training," Taylor said. "It’s going to yield high wages, but when you got a labor shortage out here, you’re gonna have high wages anyway."
Midland, within the last month, added about 1,600 new jobs. The majority of those fall into the oil and gas industry.
Taylor believes that the Russian invasion of Ukraine may eventually have an impact on the labor market here in the Permian Basin.
"We haven’t seen the immediate impact because it's still kind of in the early stages, first month or two, but you know Russia being the third largest producer of oil, it sure is going to impact the region," Taylor said.
When it comes to filling those available jobs across the state and here in the Permian Basin, Taylor said that people want to see a stable job market.
"Folks are getting back into the workforce," Taylor said. "They wanna see something stable, you know, because I refer to this market as a job seeker market. When you have plenty of jobs out there but you just don’t have the skilled workforce, and that’s just a recipe for high wages."