Still Hope in the Job Market Despite Local Employment Numbers

By: Nichole Vrsansky
By: Nichole Vrsansky

The jobless rate in Rockford is up once again from 7.8 percent; eight percent in June to 8.5 percent in July, but despite this nearly one point gain, there may still be hope in the local job market.

While thousands in the stateline are still uttering these four words, "I need a job”, there are more signs of employment.

Kris Swanson of the Illinois Employment and Training Center says job openings have increased in the past month. She's seeing more and more people using their services , Internet, library, resume help, to take advantage of those opportunities.

"I give credit to these folks because they are still plugging away, still looking and still using resources here. Some people are coming in everyday," says Swanson.

Swanson agrees it is still tough to find a job. Just ask Mike Shaydy, who laughs before replying, “It’s very tuff right now. In manufacturing chances are maybe like 10 percent of finding a job, and that’s if you’re lucky," says Shaydy.

Job seeker Brenda Sorg agrees.

“It’s very frustrating. I just got married, now I'm unemployed and my bank account is getting down. I need a job."

Both are hoping this job fair for Pacific Scientific will be the answer. The company is looking for 30 people to fill positions. At Peterbilt in Rockford, they're hiring 10 people now and will probably need another 10 in the next six months.

“There’s a wide range of fields; technical, sales, parts and service reps," says Peterbilt General Manager Richard Yezzi.

But while there seems to be an increase of the positive signs, Swanson remains cautiously optimistic and says there's still a lot of work to be done. Peterbilt of Rockford is accepting job applications at its shop on Linden Road, and the Illinois Employment and Training Center welcomes anyone to use their free services.


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