SHREVEPORT, LA (KTBS) — Last year seemed to have an impact on all of us, whether it was our health, finances or our jobs.
COVID-19’s impact was felt far and wide in the job market. The Shreveport-Bossier area saw the third-highest job loss numbers in the state.
At Topps Western World, it may have been one of the toughest since pioneer days.
“It’s completely different trying to keep things clean and focus on whether everyone is OK and focus on our employees also, with the whole everything. It’s just been hard this year,” said Dalton Reeves of Topps Western World in Bossier.
Topps was able to make adjustments to COVID-19 restrictions, like taking a large portion of their business outside. But many other businesses weren’t so lucky.
Libbey Glass shut down its plant at the end of 2020 and with it, more than 450 jobs.
The gaming industry also took a huge hit. Today, fencing outlines Diamond Jacks Casino, where nearly 350 jobs were lost when the casino closed last summer.
“It’s a fast-paced market regardless of what other people have said. We’re placing people every day in jobs. The manufacturing market is very fast-paced. The clerical market is good for this time of the year,” said Randy Miller of Career Opportunities.
When it comes to careers, Miller said he’s seen a major shift in the local workforce. Many workers have transitioned from the shrinking manufacturing sector and into developing fields like tech and research. This year, Miller expects another Shreveport staple to lead the way in job opportunities — the medical field.
“Some people have lost jobs that are really high paying, like in the oil and gas fields. They’re going to have to come to the realization that those jobs are not available in those aspects. You want to keep that in mind that you’ll have to take a little bit less, but they’re still good jobs,” added Miller.
For those looking for something less permanent, Miller also said there is a great need for seasonal or part-time workers. With the Spring season around the corner, many business owners are ready to hire right now.
“Everything is going back to normal and we’re going to keep doing our best to take care of everybody and if we can help anybody we’ll certainly do it,” Reeves said.
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