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Job seekers encouraged to stay at it

Sonja Jackson, of Detroit, holds a Employment Guide standing in line while attending a job fair in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009. The number of newly laid-off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits last week fell to the lowest level in 10 months, evidence that job cuts are easing as the economy slowly heals. The number of newly laid-off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits last week fell to the lowest level in 10 months, evidence that job cuts are easing as the economy slowly heals.(AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

April 2, 2010 3:18:55 PM PDT
President Obama is applauding a new report showing the most job creation in nearly three years in the United States. The Labor Department says businesses added 162,000 jobs to their payrolls in March. However, the overall unemployment rate remains unchanged at just over 9.5 percent. So what about the local job outlook?

In Illinois, the unemployment rate is higher than the national average, at 11.4 percent for February. We'll get the March statistics in two weeks. Locally, there are many folks looking for jobs, but today's national report is welcomed news.

For over a year, finding job was Dan Huizinga's work. It paid off. Huizinga recently landed a national sales position at Capable Controls in Bensenville.

"It really feels great, and I'm really excited to start this new job," said Huizinga.

The job outlook may be improving but not fast enough for some Chicagoans.

"Where are the jobs? Because they're not being reflected in my experience, nor in the people I know," said Diane Wilson, job seeker.

Wilson's job search for a sales or marketing position is going on a year doing nearly 100 interviews.

"I went through five interviews where they flew me to DC, and I was one of five candidates and didn't get the position," said Wilson. "I know the companies are investing a lot of resources into interviewing, but there aren't enough positions."

When Patrick Iwanicki was laid off from his IT job in 2008, he started a networking group now called ConnectWorkChicago.com. He is seeing more people attending their networking events -- some people who are employed but are worried about layoffs.

"While we are hearing more success stories, we are also hearing more and more layoffs too. I think the net effect is that we're still losing jobs," said Iwanicki,

Outplacement experts at Challenger, Gray & Christmas see more hiring, but also see a slow process to absorb all of the talented people out of work.

"The challenge when ever threes a downturn, with corporate America, they get better at not hiring. Many of those jobs don't come back, because they've figured how to do the work without adding people," said Rick Cobb, Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

While companies balance their bottom lines with new hires, there is reason to hope.

"I'm getting back in contact with people I've worked with in the same industry, and people are happy to hear I'm back in the groove again. I've landed a couple new customers," said Huizinga.

CONNECT WORK CHICAGO: Networking Group with an event coming up April 27th
www.connectworkchicago.com

CAREER TRANSITIONS CENTER: Career Counseling and Support Group
www.ctcchicago.org/


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