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Unemployment Inches Up

December 19th, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

Unemployment in Florida inched up three-tenths of a percent in November. 680,000 Floridians are now out of work. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, there are now 200,000 more Floridians out of work than there were a year ago.

Fifty-nine thousand Floridians lost their job in November. At 7.3 percent, the state’s unemployment rate is more than half a percent higher than the national average.

For Gia Straw, being out of work over the holidays means not seeing her family.

“Most of my family has either been out of work or just having hard times,” Gia Straw, a medical technician said. “They know.”

This is the second Christmas truck driver Hakeem Shakur has been out of work.

“I have two young kids, so it’s kinda hard,” Shakur said.

What do you say to them?

“I had a little money saved up, so they’re going to have a good Christmas,” he said.

State economists expect the job market will get worse before it gets better.

“We still have gains in education and health services, primarily in the health care industry,” economist Rebecca Rust said. “That’s where we’re seeing the best job prospects.”

Workforce centers are packed with job seekers.

“One of the things we’re seeing here today is job-seekers helping other job-seekers”

For some, not having computer skills is making finding a job that much harder.

“So when I can help somebody who doesn’t know the computer, know the sites, I know the good sites to go to,” Norvis Edwards said. “It’s just from the experience of being here and using the resources.”

For the first time in this downturn, employment in the hotel industry declined, signaling a slump in the state’s biggest industry: Tourism.

If you are out of work you can search online at the state web site, www.employflorida.com.

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