SF unemployment less than Calif. level

June 5, 2009 1:44:42 PM PDT
The unemployment rate in the country has now jumped to the highest it's been in more than 25 years. The Labor Department says it jumped from 8.9 percent in April to 9.4 percent in May.

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The sliver of positive news is that fewer people were laid off -- 345,000 jobs were cut, the smallest number in eight months since last September.

Unfortunately, California's unemployment rate is well above the national average at 11 percent.

Unemployment is San Francisco is less than the state and national level. It is closer to nine percent. We are being told that companies that were laying off are now holding steady, and companies that were holding steady are now looking to add up more positions before the end of the year.

There are reasons to say that things are getting better.

Jeff Henderson knows as much about unemployment as anyone right now. He lost his job six months ago after three years. It's been tough to support him and his 2-and-a-half-year-old son.

"It's tough. I mean I have tried everywhere and they always tell me that they are on a freeze, or that they are not hiring people. I have been trying, looking for a job it's hard, it's difficult," said Henderson.

Henderson came to Manpower in San Francisco, where they're seeing what they haven't seen in months.

"I see more hope right now, whereas I think before there was a time where it was really dark and there was a lot of uncertainty. We have a clear direction," said Manpower branch manager Thomas Baty.

Where Manpower is not seeing growth is exactly where students usually find summer employment.

"The area that is not doing so well right now is probably retail overall, but some other areas that may pick up some of the slack for that for summer employment," said Baty.

"We currently have a web designer position available for a financial company. We have an administrative assistant for a construction company and we also have a customer service representative for a medical center," said Manpower representative Kevin Bell.

Giovanni Rodriguez is actually upgrading his job.

"It's a full-time job. It's a three-month contract first, but I know I am a good worker. I am going to get this, I am going to get it," said Rodriguez.

Remember Jeff? In the time it took up s to talk to Giovanni, he found a job.

"Basically they found a job for me," said Henderson.

"You are telling me it happened this quick," said ABC7's Terry McSweeney.

"That quick, yes," said Henderson.

"When do you start?" asked McSweeney.

"Monday, at 6:00 a.m. Monday through Friday," said Henderson.

"You sure smile a lot," said McSweeney.

"I know, I am always happy," said Henderson.

Jeff has many reasons to smile. It was an amazing situation this morning, and it shows that the first interview we did with him and how sad he was, he was looking everywhere for a job and couldn't find anything and then found a job in a matter of minutes.

It's not happening fast enough for a lot of people still looking for a job, but congratulations to Mr. Henderson because he has a reason to smile today.

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