LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A new labor market study shows the hiring outlook is improving for Texans, and nationwide, women are now starting to hold a majority of the jobs, and that has turned some things upside down. However, men are now trying to break into careers that have traditionally been held by women.
There are 576 employees at one East Texas hospital and only 81 are male. It's a reflection of a national trend in the workforce where an increasing number of women are catching up to the number of male workers.
"What we see now is that, you know, there seems to be more women in the workforce as opposed to men because of these changes that have happened," said Work Force Solutions Business Service Specialist Sandra Hopson.
Changes that have forced men like Mike Eddins to leave a job and find a new career.
"A lot of the manufacturing and construction jobs were the ones that were laying off back when we started having a lot of the layoffs and they just haven't come back yet," said Hopson.
So, many men find themselves training for jobs that have traditionally been held by women.
"Those jobs are available and men are getting laid off in industrial jobs that aren't here any more so they have to have a place to go to work and support their families," said Woodland Heights Hospital RN Mike Eddins.
Eddins was working on the emergency response team at Abitibi when it closed, now he's a registered nurse.
"I'm sure you're going to see more men in nursing and healthcare and everything else because they've got to be able to support their families," Eddins said. "I know in the cath lab, we'll have four male nurses and three female nurses so, there's already more men here in the cath lab."
Now, men are faced with a glass ceiling of their own as they try new careers.
"If you go into a field that's really been dominated by women, the men would have to be trying to break into it the same way that women have," said Hopson.
She said the shift could eventually alter the landscape of the traditional workplace.
"When you have something big like this happen...It could be a really different world," said Hopson.
A world Eddins is glad to be a part of.
"I love what I do here. I'd never go back," smiled Eddins.
A new study by Manpower, Inc. projects a flat hiring outlook in Texas' near future which means businesses will be adding as many new jobs as they eliminate.