Local economy absorbing hundreds of lost jobs

Local economy absorbing hundreds of lost jobs

Amarillo, TX - Several area businesses have recently announced they're closing, leaving hundreds of people without a job.

When you look at BPI, Zarges, Nationwide Insurance and Arbor Christian Academy, that's over 600 jobs lost in our area.

Since we have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state, we found out exactly what this would mean for Amarillo. 

As some businesses go, we're told many new businesses have just arrived.

"We've had 1,700 to 1,800 jobs created added to the Amarillo economy just added over the last twelve months. If you look at the seasonally employment adjusted number, in January, February and March we've averaged about 500 jobs added each of those months," says Karr Ingham, area economist, Happy State Bank.

A long-time area economist tells us, it's always unfortunate to lose this many jobs but if there were ever a time, now is the best time.

"We're a large enough economy and a diverse enough economy and an economy that's doing reasonably well at present. So, that makes it easier from that standpoint to absorb the job losses. I think we will continue to be a growing economy in Amarillo for 2012," says Karr Ingham, area economist, Happy State Bank.

This would only have a slight affect on our economy since workers who were laid off may not be making as much money as they were but jobs are available, there are over 800 in our area right now.

Workforce solutions says they are being more proactive.

"Well we've been in contact with everyone from BPI and as we hear of a lay-off we contact that employer and we try to outreach those folks before they're even laid off. We try to go and have an orientation with their employees at their place of business or we set it up so we visit with just them," says Mollie Barney, business services coordinator, Workforce Solutions.

They are also reaching out to several area employers who are interested in specifically hiring those people who just lost their job.

They will be holding jobs fairs and inviting everyone who meets the criteria.

"We've got all kinds of jobs available. If you want to go to work, you can find a job,"says Mollie Barney, business services coordinator, Workforce Solutions.