Lubbock sees slight increase in unemployment rate - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/5/09

Lubbock sees slight increase in unemployment rate

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - New unemployment numbers from the Texas Work Force Commission were released Thursday. Nationwide jobless numbers are slightly better than expected, but the numbers are still at a 16 and a half-year high. Meanwhile Lubbock's jobless rate remains the third lowest in Texas. However, for some job seekers in the Hub City, it is still not easy.

Her job on this day is to fill out applications and send resumes. Something Tamara Dial spends hours working on at the Workforce Solutions South Plains.

"It's especially difficult because working around a signal mother's schedule is almost impossible," Dial said.

 Dial says she did contract work, until recently her employer could no longer afford it.

"I originally built a resume here in 2005, when I was in between jobs and have since updated it just recently," Dial said.

Dial is one of the more than 6,000 people without a job in the Hub City area. According to the Texas Work Force Commission, Lubbock's unemployment rate in January rose to 4.7%.  That is up .09% from December, which is still three percentage points below the national average. Though locally there has only been a small increase in people without jobs, Workforce Solutions South Plains Regional Director Earnest Merritt says the number of people coming in to look for jobs has increased.

"You see it goes up, it tells us that we're having more invalids that are losing jobs in our city. That we're continuing to see businesses close, it's never good," Merritt said.

Still Merritt says there are more than 800 jobs in the Hub City waiting to be filled. The fields that have openings include those in the medical, educational fields, along with restaurant and hospitality industry.

"Even though the number rose a little bit, I don't see Lubbock in that same boat and hopefully it won't get there because of the economy here and jobs that are still pretty stable," Merritt said.

To help the many job seekers in the Lubbock area, Workforce Solutions South Plains plans to host a job fair. We are told more than 100 employers are expected at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center on April 8.

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