OKLAHOMA CITY — The economy is on the minds of Oklahoma voters this election year.
Both candidates said they have a plan to get Americans back to work.
Now one industry is struggling to find qualified workers.
“All they want is a job and an opportunity, which we’re more than happy to give them,” Bill Jones said.
Jones is with Basic Energy Services, the third-largest company in the U.S. that services oil wells.
His company has a booth at Oklahoma City’s 2012 Career Fair at the Reed Conference Center to find as many employees as possible.
Jones said the energy sector is booming and they don’t have enough people for all the jobs they have.
“It’s a matter of us recruiting and going to find them and not just waiting for them to come to us and that’s one of the reasons that we’re here today,” he said.
Olethea Merrel, one of hundreds of job seekers at the career fair, said the good-paying jobs outside the energy field have been hard to come by in Oklahoma.
“I mean, there’s a reason why (presidents) have four years,” she said. “I think at this time, that we do need a change because if change hasn’t happened now, then it’s not going to.”
Her candidate for president? Gov. Mitt Romney.
But others do not blame Pres. Obama for the job market.
“It’s frustrating not to have a job,” Max Homerding said. “It’s frustrating to be underemployed but honestly, politicians don’t really affect us that much.”
Homerding got his MBA from the University of Hawaii a year and a half ago but has only had two job interviews.
However, he believes the business cycle is just running its course right now.
He said the economic pendulum will eventually swing back to prosperity, regardless of who wins the White House.
“(Business) gets hot and heavy and the oil price goes up, land price goes up, housing went up and then it crashed and we’re just waiting for that to clean out,” he said.
Oklahoma’s unemployment rate stands at 5.2 percent, well below the nation’s 7.8-percent rate.