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Midland oil boom leaves restaurants filled, but short staffed

By Jennifer Kendall, jkendall@ktxs.com
Published On: Dec 26 2012 08:47:30 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 27 2012 08:37:33 AM CST
MIDLAND, Texas -

The City of Midland is experiencing the biggest oil boom they have seen since the 1980s and it is having a drastic affect on the city's economy.

With people moving to Midland from all over the country, what the city is seeing could start affecting Big Country business also.

Midland Mayor Wes Perry said, "If you want to work and you have the ability physically to do it this is the place to come."

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Midland's October unemployment rate was down to 3.0 percent compared to 7.7 percent nationally.

Midland’s is the 5th lowest unemployment rate nationwide and the lowest in Texas.

"Anyone that wants to work can get a job and get paid really well, but it's not necessarily everybody wants to do that kind of work," Perry said.

Restaurants are experiencing bigger crowds because of a growing population, but are having trouble filling open positions.

"You have restaurants that aren't open all the time, or even all the restaurant, because they don't have the workers. The oil field is pulling lots of folks away," said Perry.

Keith Dial, the general manager of the Doubletree in Midland said hotels are seeing an increase in customers and the length of time guests stay and they have to get competitive when it comes to staffing.

"It is a little more of a challenge now because the service industries are traditionally a little different pay scale then you would get as an entry level oil employee," said Dial. 

With even more restaurants and hotels coming to Midland, finding people to fill service jobs will only become more difficult.