Despite new openings job seekers still worried

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The unemployment rate dropped for the fifth straight month, down to 8.3-percent. Plus, 243,000 jobs were added, which is a better pace than predicted.

But, hearing unemployment is going down, doesn't mean that much for the people looking for jobs.

Some of the new positions are in Morristown. More people are hitting the auto parts line at OTICS USA, Inc., thanks to 67 new jobs.

Sam Fair just started his new job and said, "This type of work really interests me, it's technology driven."

Fair knows he's lucky to have a steady paycheck.

And Charlotte Jennelle, general manager at OTICS USA, Inc., said they're lucky to have gained several new projects. "We're definitely seeing an upswing in the economy and as a result the automotive industry, there are some positive indicators," she said.

This has created all types of openings. Jennelle said, "In manufacturing, and also we're opening several positions in our support area, such as human resources, finance, accounting, and some other places."

While new jobs are being created, more than 1,000 people still come through the doors of the Hamblen County Career Center every month.

Joey Phipps has been searching for 5 months and said, "It's been really hard. I've been everywhere, got applications in everywhere in town, follow up on them, nothing ever happens, been here I don't know how many times."

Phipps worked in construction for years, but lost his job when the company went under.

While many may see the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs nationwide as a good thing, hearing it simply doesn't encourage Joey.

"Because I don't see it around me at all, not in this county anyways," he said.

And many people you'll find at Career Centers across the region say the same thing, there are still a lot more people applying for jobs, than there are positions.

Julie Bunch is underemployed, with a part-time job that doesn't cover all her bills. "You see in the paper or on the internet one job, it may have a hundred people," she said.

The Career Centers in East Tennessee are also seeing more job openings, and assistance and information can be found online, CLICK HERE.

Also, in Hamblen County they say the pay scale for the open positions is much better than it was this time last year.

If you're looking for a job, you can watch the job segment on Local 8 News this Morning, Monday through Friday, as they highlight local openings. Local listings can also be found in the "Job News" section on the home page.

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