Job Outlook

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This Christmas season, Carnell Brown is wishing for one thing...a new job.

"It's hard--looking for jobs, trying to stay busy. Trying to work around people--I really care about elderly people," says Brown.

Brown is applying at Amberwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Rockford. The nursing home industry is growing at a dramatic pace, Administrator Tracy Hartfiel says six to seven people a day walk in to apply...

"We're always looking for employees, and they don't need to be certified or educated. We have maintenance positions, we have people that walk off the street for housekeeping and dietary, as well as college educated employees--nurses," say Hartfiel.

"For the coming quarter, job prospects appear best in durable goods manufacturing and Services--and that's good news because those are two of the strongest industries in the Rockford area."

Manpower spokesperson Ginnie Weckerly says the outlook is softer than the forth quarter forecast were falling in line with the rest of the state and were consistent with no significant spikes up or down...

"Many years ago, we would see surveys with up to 20-40% of employees hiring. But some things are seasonal adjustments to. That 10% of reductions could be from retailers who bulked up for the holiday season. And in January, they'll be reducing their work force," says Weckerly.

Weckerly says there are jobs out there and companies are still hiring in December, which is typically a slow month, but there’s a greater need for skilled trades...

"We're still searching for those types of employees in the Rockford area. The individuals who are looking for professional careers such as accountants, HR, and IT are still struggling to find work in the Rockford area."