Chicagoans see signs of hope in job market

September 3, 2010 (CHICAGO)

The unemployment rate is now 9.6 percent.

However, private companies did add 67,000 jobs in August. The jobless rate went up because temporary Census workers were dropped from government payrolls.

A few more calls back, reply e-mails. This time, last year, many job applicants weren't even getting those responses. But this year seems to hold more hope for job seekers.

The commute home for a long Labor Day weekend may be a well deserved rest for those who are employed, but for those out of work, Labor Day is a reminder of what they're missing.

"There are times when I wonder if I'm gonna have another job," said job seeker Jill Wester.

ABC 7 found Wester working on her resume at the Career Transitions Center of Chicago on Friday. She was laid off from a marketing communication position in January.

But, recently, Wester is seeing more movement.

"I started to see more postings -- at least for my industry, for copy editing, proofreading in marketing -- in June. So, I'm hopefully, actually," she said.

On the other side of the center, Cheryl Stein was getting coaching. Her commercial real estate business suffered over the last two years as fewer companies needed office space.

Stein welcomes news that more businesses are adding jobs.

"I'm feeling encouraged. I'm feeling that it's a necessary change. We don't have a 30 percent unemployment like they did in the Depression, so we're certainly very lucky it's still under 10 percent, and I think we just have to be more creative and work a little harder," Stein said.

Even before the government released new statistics, CTC executive director Anita Jenke was noticing a change.

"A number of our clients are reporting that they're getting multiple opportunities. Businesses seem to be moving more deliberately towards hiring," said Jenke.

Barbara Limanowka was out of work for a year, but she landed a job in financial underwriting.

"Being at work is just fantastic," said Limanowka.

Limanowka got support from the folks at CTC, and despite some encouraging news, she know a lot of her friends are still looking for jobs.

"I feel for all the people who are out of work and their families," said Limanowka, "and just going through this, it's really quite a challenge these days."

Limanowka says she got her job from networking. She says her search was tough, but she approached it like training for the marathon; she had to be diligent and keep a schedule.

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