Unemployment National Numbers Don't Reflect Local Numbers

By: Elizabeth Prann Email
By: Elizabeth Prann Email

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday that unemployment eased slightly in July, to 9.4 percent from 9.5 percent the previous month, and total employment fell by 247,000, a much lower job loss than a few months ago.

However, predictions here in Bay County may not fair quite as well.

Maria Goodwin of the Gulf Coast Workforce Center says in the month of July alone, her employees say 3,800 people come into the office.

On Friday alone, more than 770 people walked through the doors - and it was only 3PM at that time.

Some are young families others graduating from college. But no one person with the same story.

"We have job seekers coming in front entry level to management with PhD's and master degrees."

Angela Abell lost her job last week. She says it's not the first time in the past 5 years but she says, it never gets easier.

"For me it's difficult, I have limited disability... First impressions are the most important thing, when they see me coming in those doors, they already have questions," Abell said.

The center serves Bay, Franklin and Gulf counties. When someone such as Angela comes in she meets with job counselors. Those position just recently funded by stimulus money.

The two exhaust every avenue to get her, back to work, even if it means taking classes or learning new skills.

"We look to see if their skills are transferable to maybe another job," Goodwin said.

On the other hand, President Oama says it's the beginning of the end.

"Thats why we're turning this economy around, that's why there is light at the end of the tunnel," President Obama said Friday.

No matter challenges may be, even for someone like Angela, she says you won't find her giving up anytime soon.

"It doesn't deter me, i'm just going to keep going ahead and let me and my resume speak for myself," she said.


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