Bay Area has below average unemployment

The outlook is really not as bleak in the Bay Area. High tech and tourism jobs are still out there. It's really a matter of where you look.

"Make sure I get the right date, right?" said Victor Lopez, a San Jose resident.

Victor Lopez's calendar is slowly filling up. Looking for work is his new full time job.

"The reality of a job right now is it's not easy to find work," said Lopez.

The competition just got a lot tougher. The state's unemployment rate has risen to 7.7 percent. At this moment, 1.4 million Californians are unemployed.

"It may not be as bad as it looks," said Janice Shriver, a California labor market analyst.

It all depends on where you live and what you do, according to Shriver. In the Bay Area, the jobless rate is below the state average.

"We have headquarters of companies here and internet service providers that are on the leading edge, we have a lot of venture capitalists," said Shriver.

All of that brings growth in some sectors. Between July and August of this year, 13,500 new jobs were created state wide, in private education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and information services.

However, there was also loss, especially in Central and Southern California. 21,200 were eliminated in construction, manufacturing, trade, professional or business services, transportation, finance, and government.

"If there's anything out there that pays well, I'll definitely accept it," said Lopez, who worked in the trade and retail industry.

It's an attitude that can help in these times. At Campbell's one-stop job services center, there's a line just to speak with an unemployment insurance representative by phone. It's here that the unemployed get help, as well as a reality check.

"We try to help people, how to be re-employed by learning what their skills are, what the labor market is like," said Janeen Dittrick, an employment program manager.

That could mean something as drastic as moving out of construction and into nursing.

"Take what you can. You have to eat, right?" said Lopez.

Upcoming job fairs:

    Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008, 1 - 3 p.m.
    Tri-Cities One-Stop Career Center in Fremont
    39155 Liberty Street, B200
    Fremont, CA 94538

    Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
    Centennial Hall in Hayward
    22292 Foothill Blvd
    Hayward, CA 94541

    Thursday, Sept. 2, 2008, 1 - 2 p.m.
    San Jose One Stop
    1290 Parkmoor Avenue
    San Jose, CA 95126-3449

    Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008, 9 a.m. - 12 noon
    Center for Training and Careers
    1600 Las Plumas Ave
    San Jose, CA 95133

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