There’s solid job growth across the country. That’s as the U.S. economy added 171,000 jobs in October. It’s an upward revision from earlier months.
Even so, the national unemployment rate ticked up a tenth of a point to 7.9%. That’s about a full point above the rate in the Quad Cities.
Local job seekers, whether civilian or military, face plenty of challenges.
Karen Vann is looking for a job.
“It’s just hard out there,” she said.
The Coal Valley woman, 55, wants to find a waitress job. And she’s not alone. Inside the Moline Township Center, Karen looks over job listings nearly every day.
“They accept your applications most times,” she said. “But nine times out of 10, they don’t need any help.”
Dorthea Berry, 21, isn’t just a number.
“I’m excited,” she said. “I’m very excited.”
The township program helped her to land a part-time job. Looking since April, she starts Friday night.
“It’s discouraging sometimes,” Berry said. “But when you get an interview, it lifts your spirits just a little bit.”
While it’s hard enough to find a good job in this economy, it could be even tougher for military veterans. That’s why a special program is reaching out.
Quad Cities business leaders are learning about the Hero 2 Hired program. It’s designed to sell employers on returning veterans.
“The benefits and great attributes they would be subject to by hiring a veteran,” said CSM Jesse Andrews, First Army.
This audience learned that it’s much tougher for veterans to transition back to civilian work. This connection could reduce a staggering unemployment rate that nearly doubles the local civilian rate.
“How important it is to make sure we try to hire as many veterans as we can,” CSM Andrews said.
Back at Moline Township, it’s really a full-time job looking for work.
“It’s just going to be a long winter,” said Vann. “But I think things will pick up yet.”
“You just have to do what you have to do,” Berry concluded. “You have to try your hardest and keep going at it.”