Unemployment rates stuck despite added jobs

By Sara Story - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The results of this week's election send a clear message to Washington. Americans are concerned about jobs. The White House says things are improving, with more than 150,000 jobs created in October. However, unemployed East Texans fear these added jobs won't help them because the jobless rate has remained stagnant at 9.6% for three months.

It's a harsh reality that nearly 15 million Americans are facing. Carolyn Jackson has been unemployed for nearly three months.

"It stresses you mentally and physically because of the situation. You worry about how you are going to take care of your family if something does happen to your family," Jackson said. "You worry about paying the bills that do not stop because you don't have a job."

The Labor Department's most recent job numbers should be good news for Americans like Carolyn, but the unemployment rate hasn't improved.

"To have that many jobs in areas that may have a million people in it, then what is it? It's nothing. You are not offering the people anything!" Jackson said.

Employment service centers remain busy as rows of people search for job openings. Steve Lynch, the Director of Workforce Solutions East Texas, said the economy is creating jobs, but the unemployment pool remains full. High school and college graduates are seeking employment, and companies are making seasonal layoffs.

"There are companies with manufacturing jobs that slow down, so it's not uncommon to have a spike in individuals being laid off this time of year," Lynch said.

Job seekers said the process has evolved.

"I think so many people are caught up in the traditional, 'Someone's going to hire me and give me benefits.' Those days aren't here anymore," Howard Fryman, an unemployed East Texan, said.

"It is just a whole different thing out there," Jackson said.

They said they're willing to do anything, until the unemployment rate catches up with the job creation trend.

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