Arkansas congressman speaks on increased unemployment

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 4:07 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2021 at 7:49 PM CDT
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TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) - Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, unemployment lines across the nation have increased. However, Congressman Bruce Westerman says he believes some people are filing by choice and not out of necessity.

The UPS facility in Texarkana completed a $5 million expansion project earlier this year. Officials there say this was much needed because of the increased work load.

Now that they have the space and equipment, they are experiencing another challenge.

“Finding good and reliable labor people that want to come to work, and take the job, and be here everyday, that’s what we are having trouble coming up with right now,” said Percy Caye, business manager for Texarkana UPS.

On Tuesday, Sept. 7, UPS leaders shared their hiring woes with Congressman Westerman.

Westerman toured the facility this afternoon and acknowledged a lack of workers as a national problem.

“One thing is we got to get into a scenario where employees are not competing with the government. With the government paying people to stay home and not work, we’ve got to get the workforce back out involved and engaged,” he said.

Westerman said he is hoping the proposed infrastructure bill by the federal government will help with the worker shortage here and other locations across the nation.

“There are a lot of jobs out there. People just need to apply for those jobs and take advantage of the opportunities that are here,” he said.

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