Jobless numbers fall, but many still looking for work - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Jobless numbers fall, but many still looking for work

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Many are still fighting to find work in a city that has lower than state average unemployment rates. (Graphic: MGN) Many are still fighting to find work in a city that has lower than state average unemployment rates. (Graphic: MGN)

Those searching for jobs may finally get their lucky break. The unemployment rate in Alabama is down and experts expect that trend to continue.

While there are plenty of people still in the midst of the job hunt, several people said Wednesday they expect things to get better.

The search for a job leads to an understandable amount of frustration and even desperation by many. Nick Hershy hasn't been in the field for long, but said he already feels the pressure.

"A group of my friends graduated in May and are still unemployed," he said. "Right now I think I would take almost anything."

UAH economics lecturer Brinda Mahalingam said the outlook continues to improve for those like Hershy and his friends. "I think people who are just now starting to look for jobs are more likely to get a job than, say, they were six months or a year back," she said.

The latest numbers from the Alabama Department of Labor reflect her optimism. The unemployment rate in Huntsville for November was less than five percent, compared to more than six percent in Alabama and seven percent overall nationwide.

"When the government is employing a large amount of people, that is one of the reasons our rate is slightly lower than the national," said Mahalingam.

She said it also helps when the area attracts new businesses, such as the Boeing Technology Resource Center – set to bring in 300-400 jobs. Another positive turn for jobs comes when a city hires local people to work on major road improvement projects like those in the works for Huntsville over the next decade.

However, she advised, these won't completely solve the problem. "It also means that people from surrounding areas might move here and look for a job, so it might not go down as drastically as you expect it to, but at the same time, it will go down," she said.

As for Hershy, he said he'll take any help he can get, and longs for the day he will no longer be a statistic.

"Every place I apply is just a higher probability of getting a job. I am putting in the time looking," he said.

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