Unemployment Rate Going Down, But Hundreds Of People Still Looking For Work

by Jessica Cervantez

With the summer months coming to an end, many East Texans are rushing to find a job. While the unemployment rate continues to decrease, there are still many East Texans left without jobs. Now, with new businesses coming to town, job hunters are ready.

On a typical Monday, about 300 people enter the Workforce Solutions door looking for jobs. Even with the unemployment rate in Angelina County at 5.5%, that is still a lot of people without work.

Workforce Solutions Site Manager Melony Brown said, "We have added extra staff at the front to accommodate the applicants. There are jobs out there. It's just [a matter of] matching the right jobs with the right people."

There is good news. A new business, Petsmart, will soon be opening in Lufkin. Employers have interviewed applicants for 30 positions. Already, employers know what kind of employees they are looking for.

Petsmart Store Manager Lisa Ryan said, "We are looking for bubbly, outgoing personalities. That is the key. If people are excited about their work, then they will enjoy their jobs and will do their best in keeping our customers happy."

Lots of applicants say they have seen tough times and they hope to get a job soon. Each of them offers different skills to prospective bosses.

Tina Patricola, a 28-year-old, is looking for a job.

"I'm a fast learner, I like new experiences, I have leadership [skills], and I like teamwork," she said.

Workforce Solutions classrooms are now filled with job fairs. Businesses like Petsmart, Fedex, and Lufkin Industries are all looking for employees.

Last year, in July, the unemployment rate was 7.0%. This past July, the unemployment rate was 5.5%, so they are seeing a slight decrease.