When you're in West Texas, whether you're new to the area or you've been here your whole life-you know the region lives and dies with oil and oil field jobs. The economy booms when oil booms here in the Permian Basin. But the question is-with so many businesses hiring, from retail to foodservice to entertainment... Is the reason for the shortage of workers willing to take these jobs in other sectors the high-paying jobs working for Oil Companies, or is it just a worker shortage in general because people's outlook and attitudes have changed since the onset of the pandemic?

I think the answer lies in watching the Oil Companies also struggle with finding qualified candidates to fill their open positions as well. Since I've been here in the Midland Odessa area for the past 22 months, I've seen the industry on the climb, yet companies hold and participate in job fairs here to attempt to attract workers from entry-level to experienced, yet seem to continue to struggle to hire for those positions even though the pay scale goes into the six-figure range.

So that leads to the question-where IS everyone? Where are all the workers? There's still a mortgage or rent to pay, utilities and cell phone bills-probably also a car payment to make. How is everyone doing it if they aren't working? I haven't seen the news that 5,000 winners of the Power Ball Jackpot were splitting the pot in West Texas. How do you pay your bills if unemployment and assistance don't last forever, even WITH the pandemic still a thing? Inquiring minds want to know.......

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