The shaky job market is an issue for many local job seekers, including graduating students.
Manufacturing layoffs and the significant reduction in construction contributed to Leon county’s unemployment rate of 5.4 percent, according to talgov.com, Tallahassee’s homepage.
Though Leon County has one the lowest rates of Florida counties, the number is steadily rising.
Local companies like Labor Finders, which assigns workers daily labor positions, feel the economic crunch.
“There has been an increase of people coming in looking for jobs and it’s even harder to place them with businesses trying to save money,” said David George, a placement counselor at Labor Finders.
As of December 2008, approximately 752,000 Floridians were jobless.
The unemployment rate jumped from 7.4 percent in November 2008 to 8.1 percent in December 2008, the highest it has been in 15 years, according to the Web site.
Florida’s unemployment rate is even higher than the national rate of 7.2 percent.
Though there is trepidation about stepping out into such a volatile economic climate, getting an early start in the competition may help graduates land a job faster.
“I think the rise in unemployment is bad, but I feel the earlier I look I have a better chance,” said Jimmesse Patterson, 23, a design ad technology student from Jacksonville.
Patterson graduates in the spring of 2009.
Even people who have jobs question the economy’s stability.
Roselette Joseph, who works in FSU’s admissions office, as well as Walmart, is a graduate of FSU and said even with two jobs, she is worried about her future.
Joseph said he has seen the effects of layoffs personally.
“My dad was laid off almost two years ago and he still has not found another job yet, and I know it’s hard for him because he has little education and he is older,” Joseph said.
An article in the Associated Press said the class of 2009 is facing the bleakest job hunt in a generation.