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Joplin Economist Expects Employers to Get More Competitive Over - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Economist Expects Employers to Get More Competitive Over Employees

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Joplin, MO -

There's another big announcement of jobs coming to the Joplin area from the telemarketing company Alorica.  The company already has about 425 employees, and that number will nearly double.

"We're looking to add 400 new team members here in Joplin because our clients here are asking us to take on more of their work because they really like the work ethic and the culture and the spirit of the people taking care of their customers daily," says Ken Muche with Alorica.

A few other companies have recently announced plans to open new offices in the Joplin area.  A new grocery store along Rangeline Road will soon open, and a department store is headed to Northpark Mall.  But one local economist says it might be more difficult now for these new employers to attract workers.

Part of Bubba Evansco's job is helping people get jobs.  A changing economy is changing how he works, though.

"We have more jobs and more opportunity now," says Evansco.

Evansco is with the Missouri Workforce Investment Board.  

"When I first took this job, unemployment nationally was around eight percent.  Locally, it was just over seven," says Evansco.

Evansco says eight years later, Joplin's unemployment rate has improved to about three percent.

"If you ask me, it's a job seekers market," says Evansco.  "I think that's why you find a lot of employers who are starting to step-up as far as benefits and maybe other things that make it very attractive to work there."

Evansco says a local economic study points to continued competition years from now among employers for employees.  The 2016 study estimated this region's population growing by about 35-hundred over the next five years, and jobs increasing by about 33-hundred.

"We did a workforce study, not too long ago, that found our biggest section of people who are unemployed are people with disabilities.  Employers can come find out how easy it is to use assistive technology and put people with disabilities to work in their workplace," says Evansco.

...More inclusiveness factored in with all the competitiveness.

The Missouri Workforce Investment Board is offering workshops for both job seekers and new employers to talk about training and areas of opportunity.  Click here for more information.

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