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IE job growth improves, but recovery remains slow

April 20, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Job growth in the Inland Empire has been slow. But you don't have to tell that to Kevin McCaughey.

The former business owner and others shopped their resumes around during job fair at Mt. San Jacinto College in Menifee Friday afternoon.

"51-years-old, I think most the businesses these days want to hire two 25-year-olds and give them 20 hours a week each, that keeps them away from benefits. That's what I run into a lot," he said.

The frustrating search has been made more painful by a recent increase in the Inland Empire's unemployment numbers. This past March, the unemployment rate crept up to 12.7 percent, which is better than March of last year when it stood at 13.5 percent.

Economist John Husing says despite the recent uptick in unemployment, the local economy is still recovering.

"The good news however is in fact we are adding jobs, which last year we barely did and the three years before that were a catastrophe," he said.

Husing also points out that it's the private sector that is adding jobs, but the public sector that is losing them. He says that will continue to drag down the local economy.

Public sector cuts and layoffs in education is one reason why college freshman Alexis Medina decided not to go into teaching.

"Now I am majoring in business, so I am hoping that's a bigger field that has more jobs offerings," she said.

By the time Medina graduates, the economic landscape may look different.

"I think it is just time. We'll get through it. The country has been through these kind of things before. It will come back around," said McCaughey.


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