“Everybody is hiring, and everybody is short-handed,” she said.
“I can promise you, anybody that wants a job in this town can get one.”
However, according to local statistics, the unemployment rate for Beeville was ahead of the national average, but behind the state.
Labor statistics, compiled by Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend (WSCB), based in Corpus Christi, show that Beeville’s unemployment rate was 7.6 percent, compared with 6.9 percent for the state and the national rate of 7.8 percent.
WSCB compiles unemployment figures each month for 12 counties.
Out of a labor force of 13,296 persons in Bee County, last month 12,290 were employed, leaving 1,006 unemployed.
June’s 7.6 percent rate rose from 7.1 percent in May but is close to the 7.6 percent rate a year ago.
McMullen said that she has heard from other business owners, and the story is the same.
People aren’t applying to work.
“Three years ago, we would have an inch stack of people waiting to get in,” she said. “That just went away.”
She isn’t one to blame the oil industry for taking the applicants either. Many of those companies aren’t able to fill their positions either.
“Something else we are seeing here is what I call the loss of the traditional work ethic,” says Bee County Judge David Silva, who wishes the county unemployment rate was lower – or at least matched the rate statewide.
“People will get a job — if they pass the drug exam — and they seem to think they are entitled, as if the company should be glad they’re there. Then they work for two weeks and then disappear for two or three days. Then they want their job back, but the company has moved on.
“And those that keep their job, they seem to be addicted to the Internet. They’re always texting or checking their email on company time. They don’t understand that when you work for someone, do the work!”
Outside of Bee, the numbers paint a different picture.
The unemployment rate dropped significantly in counties to the north and west of Bee County — closer to the epicenter of Eagle Ford Shale operations.
Live Oak County’s June rate was 4.1 percent; McMullen County’s rate was 3.1 percent; Karnes County’s, however, was 7.3 percent.
To the south and east, Refugio County’s rate was 4.9 percent; Goliad’s was 5.8.
Since 2003, the Coastal Bend’s unemployment rate has closely mirrored the state’s rate, varying only in tenths of a percent.
Those at Coastal Bend College recently implemented a way to help their students find work and to curtail the unemployment numbers.
“CBC Works is in its early stages, but I hope that employers in the Coastal Bend realize what a great opportunity this is to reach our amazing students,” Lindsey Hagen, career development adviser for CBC, said previously.
“Sometimes our students don’t know where to start to find a job, and CBC Works is a valuable tool we provide them for free. However, we don’t only want to help them find jobs — we also want to help them start their career.”