301.519.9237 exdirector@nesaus.org

(KTEN) – The Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development is noticing employment trends that differ from last year.

Unemployment numbers have dropped in the Sooner State since the start of the pandemic.

“When you get below about 4 percent it’s a great number to have, but it’s also really tough to find workers,” said Oklahoma Workforce executive director Don Morris.

Last year, companies were scrambling to find employees, but Morris said it wasn’t because there was a lack of willing workers. 

“The ‘Great Resignation’ was actually more of a great shift,” he said. “People just changed jobs a lot and left some industries really short.”

One industry has taken a harder hit than the others.

“The number one open job in the state is CDL truck driver,” Morris said.

Dot Foods in Ardmore hasn’t had to worry about finding workers, due in part to its pay-to-train program.

“I think we’re booked up through December now with potential candidates for that school,” said Dot Foods’ Jim Robertson.

That, plus the company’s promise of no layoffs, makes Dot a prime landing spot for employees.

“Folks are looking at the culture of the companies, and trying to understand where is the best place to go to work,” Robertson said. “And that’s where I feel Dot comes out on top.”

Registered nurses and shipping and logistics workers are also in high demand. And Oklahoma Works has the resources to help you find that dream job.

“Go to OklahomaWorks.gov, find where you’re at or where you want to be. Click on that and you can find your local workforce center,” Morris said. “You can also fill out things online and get the process started.”

Morris said they also offer apprenticeship programs, which lets high-paying employers try out a worker before they bring them on full time.