FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Northwest Arkansas is growing daily and is short-handed when it comes to people in the tech industry.

As of today, Google and Amazon announced layoffs in the tech industry that involved more than 12,000 employees.

“I think what you’re seeing right now is some sort of course correction in the tech sector,” said Dr. Mervin Jebaraj the Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas for companies like Google and Amazon.

Jebaraj says those are not concerning numbers when they can have up to 200,000 employees.

“The way they’re distributed across the country — maybe even across the world — that’s just not that much of a significant impact in any one location for it to matter yet,” Jebaraj said.

For many experts like Jebaraj, they are wondering what these layoffs could mean for states like Arkansas or a region like Northwest Arkansas that are desperately trying to get more people in tech.

“We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to attract some of those individuals here, and you know, we’ll be targeting some of them digitally on some ads to show them the kinds of opportunities that are here,” said Nelson Peacock, CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Council.

Peacock says more companies are identifying themselves as tech companies over the last several years.

“You’re seeing that need for talent, it’s well beyond just a traditional Apple. I mean, every company including those locally and across the state need tech talent to run their companies,” Peacock said.

Peacock says there are about 10,000 jobs open right now and about a quarter of them are in tech and the STEM industry.

“It’s been a priority of the Northwest Arkansas Council to try to fill those jobs if they don’t get filled here. Companies will move somewhere else to get those jobs filled, so we need to do everything we can to help them,” Peacock said.

Peacock says as the population grows, so are the businesses. He says as they think of different ways to expand and innovate, it leads back to the need for more people in tech.

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