TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The numbers are out and the labor secretary is calling them "unacceptable". The nation's unemployment rate is at 9.4 percent, a 25 year high. That's up half a percentage point from April, and employers cut 345,000 jobs last month. But don't let the numbers discourage you. Certain job fields aren't laying off, but adding on. Jobs are out there, you just need to know where to look.
Millions are out of work, with thousands of layoffs right here in East Texas.
"Certainly our unemployment is still an issue," said Brenda Balch, the general manager of Snelling Professional Services.
Her team works to fill job openings with qualified candidates. She says openings are still out there.
"It's higher than it's been in a long time in East Texas, but nonetheless the numbers for East Texas are reasonable and there's still a lot of hiring going on," said Balch.
It's no surprise in East Texas that the medical field offers many employment options that don't require the investment of a four year degree.
"[There are a] of opportunities where a two year degree will serve you quite well," said Dr. Aubrey D. Sharpe, head of Tyler Junior College's continuing education department.
"The medical is hot hot hot hot hot," said Balch.
Sharpe says the thought of going back to school can be daunting but rewarding.
"If you're afraid, start on the continuing ed side," said Balch. "Get one of these certifications, certified nurse aid or certified assistant and go to work. You'll go to work like that."
Employers are waiting to hire nursing assistants and healthcare aids, paying anywhere from $7 to $15 dollars an hour. Short certification courses are necessary but can be easily taken care of. Skilled technicians are also in demand. They can be trained through continuing education courses. From metal fabrication to air conditioning repair, labs offered at TJC help prepare workers for trade jobs.
"There's no excuse for anyone who has a little bit of time and a little bit of money to not get re-trained to get a new job or a promotion or to get a new job in case they get laid off," said Sharpe.
They are little steps toward a rewarding future.
Snelling Services said there are other East Texas job openings off the beaten path. Food manufacturing and processing plants continue to hire. Call centers throughout East Texas are filling openings as well.