While December saw marginal job growth nationwide, here at home, one megastore is single handedly boosting our employment rate.
In a very small amount of time, Wal-Mart is responsible for more than 400 new jobs here at home.
The 23rd Street store is soon to open with 200 new employees, and now it's the Pier Park Wal-Mart's turn to hire their own 200 new faces.
With a tapping of keys and a click of the mouse, the familiar job application process has begun at the Wal-Mart's beach hiring center.
For job hopefuls Heather Dunagan and Dillon Motley, it was an opportunity too good to pass up.
"It seems like a great job, they need help and I have the ability to help out," said Dunagan.
"It's a big company, so I figured there would be plenty of opportunities for me to pursue," said Motley.
The Pier Park location is in its final stages of construction, complete with palm trees in the parking lot, and soon training will begin according to store manager, Jennifer Ross.
"We take possession of our new building at the end of January, January 21st is when we start doing work there and we start stocking shelves at the beginning of February for our opening in March," said Ross.
Bay County is also looking forward to having them open. The megastore has meant a lot to the people of Bay County, whose tourism-based economy is often governed by the season.
"When you have a store like Wal-Mart coming in, someone always wants to be next to Wal-Mart, because Wal-Mart always brings in a tremendous amount of traffic into an area," said Ross.
"We're talking about 400 jobs here in the last couple months," said Workforce Center Director, Maria Goodwin,
The Workforce Center has worked hand in hand with the Wal-Mart hiring process of both the 23rd street and the back beach locations
"Wal-Mart, in addition to some of those positive indicators, are helping our unemployment rate, so it's really lessening the seasonal impact we have here," said Goodwin.
Those who want to apply can do so online at:
Or you can come to the hiring center located just past Highway 79 on Back Beach Road near the Taco Bell.
The address is 17208 Panama City Beach Parkway.
Just look for the "hiring center" signs.