ORLANDO – The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released unemployment data in late September that indicated little change from prior months.
Currently, the unemployment rate is 7.2 percent, which is the lowest it has been in 2013. According to the Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey, the unemployment rate has gradually declined from 7.9 percent in January to 7.2 percent this September.
For some, this shift has been tangible. For others, it has been inconsequential.
According to the BLS, 148,000 jobs have been added to the economy, however, in places like Florida, the unemployment rate is close to the national percentage.
For example, Kevin Negy, a teacher’s assistant at the University of Central Florida, recognizes the positive growth in unemployment. He says, “Unemployment is bad, but slowly getting better.”In Florida, the unemployment rate is close to the national percentage. With 7 percent, or approximately 650,000, Floridians out of work, people are still affected by the lack of jobs.
He continues, “I think it’s worth noting that as big as our unemployment is, it could be worse.”
Similarly, Tiffany Matthews, who recently graduated with her bachelor’s in Elementary Education, admits it took her two months to find a job as a teacher at Washington Shores Elementary School.
Although Matthews is working, she empathizes with those afflicted by the unemployment rates. She shares, “I’m watching several of my friends (or just people I know) struggle with trying to make ends meet. Some have had to move back home and is see relationships breaking up because of the struggle.”
With job prospects slowly on the rise, those that are employed are feeling the pressure to perform and beat out other candidates.
Kaity Corder Blackman, an insurance adjuster, says, “there is always a fear that you could be replaced.”
To be sure, there is a current expectation that those who are employed should be grateful to have any job.
Blackman recalls, “In this job and my prior job, I’d hear thrown around about being lucky to be employed. I’ve only known working in this climate, but I think it makes me just accept a lot of things without bringing up demands or issues with my employer.”
However, for some, the transition has been seamless. Kyle Abernathy, a customer service representative, explains that his experience has been as simple as moving from one call center to another.
“I am just doing different work. Instead of saving lives [as a 911 Dispatcher] I am dealing with insurance,” he says.
However, Abernathy recognizes that this is not the case for all of those who are unemployed. “My friends mom has been without a job for a while now and it has been tough for their family,” he adds.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release October unemployment data on November 8.