TYLER, TX (KLTV) - When economic experts signaled the end of the great recession in June 2009, more than 8 million Americans were out of a job.
New signs of growth have companies hiring, but economists say many of those positions aren't coming back.
All hands are on deck at Amega West Services, but two years ago, there was no light at the end of the tunnel.
The company Warren Woodcock worked so hard to build, cut nearly a third of its workforce, "We were running about 50 percent in 2009."
"There's not a worse feeling than letting someone go around Christmas time," Woodcock says.
Amega West survived on a skeleton crew. Now, they face increased demand for their work, and employees.
Woodcock says the company is definitely seeing an increase in hiring.
More evidence of the return of recession jobs is seen at Snelling Staffing, says General Manager Megan Adcock.
"They can't do any more with the current staff that they have, they've cut down, they are as lean as they can be, but they're seeing demand," Adcock says.
A recent manpower survey showed some companies enter 2011 like Amega West, by filing workforce holes from two years ago. The largest majority are the companies who made the cuts, and are staying put.
"I think a lot of them will come back. Some of them won't because technology advances have been made, companies have figured out how to do more with less," says Tom Mullins, of the Tyler Economic Development Council.
But, it's also the tech advances giving the unemployed a second chance. Employment estimates show sales, customer service, and information technology prime growth fields in 2011.
Not to mention, skilled industrial workers.
The employees Woodcock laid off are back at work, and ready for reinforcements.
A brand new shop will soon expand the company by 30 percent, "Business is not any good unless it does something for the people that make it a success," says Woodcock.
At the annual conference focusing on East Texas economics, the Perryman Group reported since 2008, 70 percent of all new US jobs were created in Texas.
Numbers like that, and a good business climate, have economists forecasting steady expansion in the next five years.