Local/State

Unemployment numbers encouraging to local job seekers

Friday, October 05, 2012

A surprise on the economic front - the unemployment rate has dropped below 8 percent for the first time in almost four years.

The jobless rate for September was 7.8 percent, down from 8.1 percent in August.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, its household survey revealed that 873,000 more people had jobs last month than in August.

Sabrina Young is a single mother of two boys, a college graduate and Air Force veteran.

However she's also among the roughly 12 million Americans unemployed in the United States.

"It's been tough. More recently there has been more activity, employers calling, interviews have picked up but no sound results," said Young.

Rodney Clay has been unemployed for a year. He has worked odd jobs to stay afloat.

"I've been able to survive this downstream but we've seemed to level off. Things are looking up," said Clay.

Jobs numbers released Friday may provide a glimmer of hope.

"I said it's about time. We've been over 8 percent for 44 months. It's the first time we've gone below and finally things are beginning to move," said John Dodds.

Dodds is the Director of the Philadelphia Unemployment Project which helps people like Young find jobs. He is cautiously optimistic about the new numbers.

However locally much more progress is needed.

In August unemployment for the state of New Jersey was 9.7 percent, for Pennsylvania is was 8.2 percent. Delaware was well below the national average at 7.0 percent.

In Philadelphia, unemployment is 11.1 percent.

"That's traditionally the way it is. Philadelphia generally has a difficult unemployment situation but its staying way too high right now," said Dodds.

Both President Obama and Governor Romney used Friday's numbers to make their political points.

Most economists stress labor statistics can be volatile. Regardless it seems everyone agrees, more job creation is needed.

A better picture of the local unemployment situation will be revealed in the coming weeks when local municipalities release their numbers.

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philadelphia, unemployment, local/state
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