published: Friday, September 28, 2012
County jobless rate drops
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
SEBRING -- Pulling himself away from a Heartland Workforce job fair Thursday, Roger Hood, the organization's executive director, said Highlands County's unemployment rate continues to trend downward.
"This is positive," he said.
The latest figures, released Sept. 21, show the county's unemployment rate is 9.7 --down from 11.5 percent in August 2011. The county's rate is slightly lower than the overall percentage rate of 10 percent for the Heartland Workforce Region. It remains, however, 1 percentage point above the state average.
Out of the county's total workforce of 43,242, there are 4,193 actually looking for work, Hood said.
He reminds people that those figures do not include those who are no longer looking for work.
Which is why, Hood added, the Heartland Workforce is becoming more proactive.
In addition to job fairs, the agency is close to finalizing an agreement with Sunshine Staffing to provide a unique opportunity for local businesses.
Once the contract is signed, hopefully in a couple of weeks, the Workforce, through Sunshine Staffing, will offer to pay for a local employer's new employee's probationary period -- up to $19 an hour for 90 days.
With the winter tourist and harvesting seasons approaching, Hood said more employers have begun to reinstate positions and look for workers.
The single most important factor in finding a job, Hood said, is the job seeker.
"Get active and stay active; jobs are coming available," Hood said. "Enhance your skills."
He added that the Workforce has training programs, up-to-date help wanted information, and support services in resume writing and interview protocols.
In terms of annual wages earned, the county ranks right in the middle of the three counties in the region. DeSoto County's average is almost $32,000; Hardee County's almost $29,00; Highlands County's is $29,295.
Correction... (by: foodforthought - 9/28/2012)
I'm so tired of hearing "people not looking for work". Who's called these people to get these stats? Of course the unemployment looks like it's dropped, when unemployment benefits is cut off then of course people don't log on to the unemployment website and register their job searches. They simply look for work on their own. So please stop saying people aren't looking for work. It's not these people's fault that there are so few jobs available in Highlands County. And in season the snowbirds arrive taking up the part time jobs available in town so it'll show the overall employment stats going up, and then in May it goes down again when they head up north.
Small Banner Ads