Unemployment Rate Rises As Hundreds Search For Jobs In Memphis

(Memphis) In the city of Memphis, the jobless rate stands at ten percent, one of the highest of all metro areas with more than a million people.

It’s not a surprise for job seekers such as Bill White.

“I’m looking for work,” White said.

White and hundreds of others were at the JobLinc Career and Information Fair at the Benjamin Hooks Central Library.

He recently lost his job of being an accounting and auditing specialist for Memphis City Schools just before the district merged with Shelby County Schools.

“It’s hard when you have to regroup and sometimes you have to think outside the box because there may not be any opportunities in the field you’ve been working and you have to think of other areas where you have some skills,” White said.

More than 30 companies were there looking for potential employees, but many representatives from hiring companies admit it’s not always easy to find qualified candidates in the Memphis job market.

Marguerite Dodson is with Regions Bank Human Resources.

“The candidate I know is perfect for any particular job is out there, but to be able to go out and find and put my hands on that person, especially with educational background, is somewhat of a challenge,” Dodson said.

In recent months, Memphis has lured many major companies to town such as Electrolux and Mitsubishi, bringing with them many new jobs.

But some employers at this job fair said some Memphians and Mid-Southerners may want to consider possibly going back to school to be better qualified, fine tune their resumes and be prepared to work.

Todd Jones is with the Aflac company.

“I think a lot of people want to have jobs, but we can’t find a lot of people who want to work particularly in our industry where being in sales is commission oriented. You have to go to work on a daily basis,” Jones said.

It’s why many of these job seekers like White hope their resumes will standout against the rest.

“I’m trustworthy, loyal, hard worker and dedicated,” White said.

The June unemployment rate for Shelby County rose to 10.3 percent and the jobless rate for Tennessee increased to 8.5 percent, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

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