2,300 local jobs lost in July

August 21, 2009 6:46:34 PM PDT
Despite the temporary upturn in the auto industry, the California jobs picture continues to look pretty bleak. The state unemployment rate has climbed to a record 11.9 percent, reflecting the 8,700 jobs that were eliminated in July.

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In the Bay Area, many of the recently unemployed are laid off teachers and other school workers. West Bay jobless numbers held study at 9.3 percent, but East Bay numbers ticked up to 11.3 percent and South Bay numbers went down slightly to 11.8 percent. Still, it's the highest in the region.

In July Silicon Valley's unemployment rate was 11.8 percent. That is down ever so slightly from the month before, which was a record 11.9 percent. Keep in mind, just a year ago, the unemployment rate for the area was hovering around the six percent rate.

Bel Kargbo is a payroll administrator who has been out of work since April, but it seems much longer.

"Actually I never anticipated that it would be this long that I would not be able to find a job," said Kargbo.

Millions of people are thinking the same thing -- one in three people unemployed have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer. In the past year Silicon Valley has lost nearly 43,000 jobs. The bulk of them were high paying positions in manufacturing. Janice Shriver with the Employment Development Department is watching that sector closely.

"If I just see a stop to the slide I will say 'Okay, they've stabilized, they are ready to regroup,'" said Shriver.

The employment office is full of people searching for work in any industry.

"I'm going to be 47. I don't feel very good about myself or the economy right now," said Melissa Demezzi, an unemployed worker.

These job seekers are trying to improve their odds by taking a free workshop put on by San Jose's Work 2 Future. It's a federally funded program that offers a wide variety of help including job fairs like one at the HP Pavilion last month.

Some of the things offered are "Resume development, resume critique, interview, networking, job search," said Sara Hser from Work 2 Future.

Career coaches say networking is especially important in a competitive market and those brushing up on their skills and resumes say it does give them more confidence and they will eventually find a job.

"They have all kinds of different classes you could take so it's a positive feeling," said Tina Williams, an unemployed worker.

"After I am to complete it, I might be able to land myself a job... hoping, hoping," said Kargbo.

For the first time in its nine year history, Work 2 Future is going to be extending its hours. Starting September 1, it will open until 8 p.m. four nights a week.

LINKS:
Work 2 Future

ABC7's job fair resources page

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