Local unemployment improved from 2011
By Cindy Wojdyla Cain email@example.com July 31, 2012 10:20PM
Updated: September 2, 2012 6:16AM
Local unemployment figures rose a bit in June compared with May, but overall they’re lower than a year ago.
And that’s a trend local workforce officials want to keep going. They’re offering a job fair preparation workshop and a job fair later this month to help more unemployed residents find work.
In June, Joliet’s unemployment rate was 11.9 percent, higher than 11.1 percent in May, but lower than last year’s 13.9 percent. That pattern held for Will County, too, which had a June rate of 9.6 percent, up from 8.8 percent in May, but down from 9.9 percent a year ago.
Pat Fera, manager of the Workforce Investment Board, said the employment situation isn’t as dismal as it has been for the past couple of years.
“We are seeing a real pickup in hiring,” she said. “We’re much more optimistic.”
Workforce services is collaborating with Joliet Junior College and, for the first time, the Will County Center for Economic Development on a job fair, which will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 29 at the Renaissance Center, 214 N. Ottawa St.
About 30 companies have signed up so far for the event, Fera said. Employers interested in attending should contact Scott Kettman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (815) 723-3880.
The center for economic development helps companies find employees. And workforce services helps employees find companies. So it’s a perfect match, Fera said, about the center’s involvement.
In addition to the job fair, workforce services has added a new workshop, Preparing for a Job Fair, to its lineup of monthly offerings. The new workshop is designed to help job seekers prepare for and get the most of out of the next job fair they attend. It will be presented from 3 to 4 p.m. Aug. 21 and from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Aug. 23.
All workshops are held at 214 N. Ottawa St. and are free for Will County residents. Reserve a seat by calling 815-727-4444, Ext. 101, or emailing email@example.com.
Workforce services also offers retraining for some unemployed workers. That training helped jobless residents land some of the 9,000 jobs that were added in Will County last year, Fera said.
Workers who received advanced training or certifications in information technology or health care fields have been extremely successful in finding new careers, Fera said.
The overall goal is to help people survive the post-recession economic stagnation, she said. And while unemployment numbers are lower than a year ago, Fera would like to see them even lower.
“This has dragged on for so long, we would really like to see month-over-month declines in unemployment.”