Paragould Economy: Bringing Jobs Back In

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- Another sign of bad economic times is happening now in Paragould.  Several local companies have announced closures or layoffs.

"I think it's a temporary thing.  Things will get back to where they need to be," said Jeff Weatherford.

A car dealership and a retail store have closed and several other companies have made temporary and permanent layoffs.

"I work at Monroe Auto here in Paragould and we're just laid off this week and each time you're in that position you have to come here and file again," said Weatherford.

Paragould Regional Chamber of Commerce Director Sue McGowan said what we're seeing in Paragould is trickle down from the national economy.

"We understand why the layoffs that we're seeing now and it's not something we're doing as far as the community or our employees.  It's not something that they're doing," said McGowan.

Even though there have been several layoffs, McGowan said there are still some companies that have made expansions and that are hiring.  She said American Rail Car and newly completed Axis have added jobs.  At the chamber of commerce, they're talking with companies hoping to woo them to Region 8.

"You're seeing some people that wanting to make an investment in communities and we're trying to entice them to come to Northeast Arkansas.

McGowan said the November unemployment numbers are holding steady to what they were this time last year, but with recent layoff's December's numbers may tell a different story.

"It's here and there, here and there.  We were off three weeks on one week and then off another week.  We'll see when we get to work Monday.  I go back to work on Monday and we'll see what happens from there," said Weatherford.

With many out of work you may be competing for the same job as someone else.