Economy, Gas Prices Impacting Summer Work Force

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- With summer just around the corner, more people are looking to hit the workforce and more companies in Region 8 are opening their doors to employees.  But the economy could have an impact on just where folks are willing to go for jobs.

"This is the start of the busy season for staffing. It runs from May to September, October," said Scott Holden of Express Employment Professionals, "A lot of manufactures facilities are gearing up so we are seeing a heavy flow of applicants coming in."

"I'm looking for a new job, I just got laid off at my old job and I am thinking about moving to the Jonesboro area so I am looking for a new job," said Blytheville resident Timothy Jermaine Beale.

Beale is looking for work in construction.  Even though he can make between $13 and $23 dollars an hour, the commute from Mississippi County would cost too much.

"I have to move over here, no way, way too high of gas," laughed Beale.

The summer heat isn't having an impact on the job search so far, but the economy sure is--namely gas prices, which are hovering around $3.50 so far. Holden says a lot of Jonesboro residents are now utilizing the JETS transportation system.

"As far as fuel prices go, it's becoming harder and harder to get people to travel outside of Jonesboro for employment opportunities. You know $3.50 a gallon, unless it's just a well paying job, it's hard for people to accept that," said Holden.

But Beale says he is willing to roll up his sleeves.

"You have to work outside all through the year, in rain, sleet, snow, you have to work," said Beale.