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Thomas Rhett

Alabama unemployment at ten year low; Talladega Career Center offers tips to get hired in competitive environments

TALLADEGA COUNTY, Ala. – Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington has announced Alabama’s wage and salary employment measured 2,042,400 in June, a ten-year high. The last time it measured at or above this level was in December 2007, when it measured 2,045,800.

“Wage and salary employment in Alabama continues to increase significantly month after month,” said Washington. “This month’s count is the second largest we’ve ever recorded, yielding only to pre-recessionary numbers. It represents the most jobs our economy has supported in more than a decade. Employers are hiring in Alabama, jobs are available in Alabama, and people are working in Alabama.”

Even though the employment rate is at a ten-year high in Alabama and an 18-year high in the U.S., there are still more jobs than job seekers. With 6.7 million open jobs, the U.S. Department of Labor said the United States has never before seen an economy where the number of job openings exceeds the number of job seekers.

Gwen Saffold, the Manager for Tempforce, said this is true for Talladega and surrounding counties, as well. She said while she is glad the economy is doing so well, this can make things difficult for a business who specializes in hiring.

The overall unemployment rate for the U.S. was 3.8 percent in May. This is the lowest unemployment rate in 18 years, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.  Alabama’s overall unemployment rate fell just higher than the U.S. rate at 3.9 percent. This is an increase from April, which was 3.8 percent.

“It is not uncommon to see a slight increase in the unemployment rate in May,” said Washington. “As graduates and students enter the workforce, some for the first time, they may not find jobs immediately, and it can contribute to a rate increase.”

This seems to be evident, as all but four counties in the state saw the employment rate rise. Saffold agreed to this statement and added that certain places of employment hire seasonally. Saffold said there are 100 job openings in Clay County alone, but no one to fill the jobs.

Shelby County once again saw the lowest unemployment rate at 2.7 percent in May. Talladega County continues to see low unemployment rates at 4.1 percent. Surrounding counties including Calhoun (4.5 percent), Clay (3.6 percent), Coosa (4.2 percent), Elmore (3.2 percent), St. Clair (3.3 percent), and Tallapoosa (4.0 percent) are also seeing lower unemployment rates than earlier this year.

To help keep the unemployment rate low, the Talladega Career Center offered useful tips on finding and landing a job if you are seeking one. It said when filling out your application, be sure to fill it out completely. Always elaborate on job duties. Listing the job title does not describe what you did at that job, and you should not assume your potential employers know your responsibilities at previous jobs. Details matter.

Make sure your resume is updated and specified to the jobs you are applying for, and do the same for your cover letter. A generalized resume and cover letter are easier, but you might miss out on a job you want if it does not list skills to help you stand out among other applicants. These are one of the first things employers see, so be sure they look good.

After you have sent in your application, resume, and cover letter, your potential employer will need to get in touch with you to set up an interview. Create a professional email address to use. Employers will overlook an applicant if their email address is unprofessional. Also, be sure to have your voicemail box on your cell phone set up. If an employer tries to contact you, but your voicemail box is not set up or full, you may have missed out on a job opportunity.

Once you have been called in to an interview, it is always a good idea to research the company. You do not want to go in to the interview and not know how to answer their questions. You should also have answers prepared for possible questions. Always answer these truthfully, and not what you think the employer wants to hear. They want to know who they are hiring. It is also a good idea to have follow up questions to ask the interviewer. This is where knowing about the company will be useful.

Dressing like you want the job is one of the main deciding factors when going into an interview. We have all heard the saying “dress for the job you want.” A good rule to follow when dressing for interviews is to dress just a little up from what you would be wearing everyday at that job.

If you are looking for a job, look on to see where places around Sylacauga are currently hiring.

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