Jobless rate beginning to worry the nation's Heartland

Kansas City StarAugust 3, 2008 

Business is booming these days at Missouri Career Centers throughout the state.

Day after day, job hunters have been using every computer station in the work room at the Full Employment Council of Kansas City, the busiest Missouri Career Center in the state. They are filling out unemployment paperwork and searching for jobs. In the waiting room, more await their turns.

It's the same at the Full Employment Council's Northland career resource center.

More people are chasing fewer jobs, a reflection of the just-released national unemployment rate of 5.7 percent in July, the highest in four years.

The 5.7 percent rate, up from 5.5 percent in June, isn't terribly high by historic standards. But it represents about 8.8 million unemployed job hunters nationally and more than 62,000 in the Kansas City metro area.

In July a year ago, the national unemployment rate was 4.7 percent, and there were 1.6 million fewer jobless workers, according to data published Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Re-employment is partly hampered by the fact that 463,000 non-farm payroll jobs have been eliminated by U.S. employers since the beginning of the year.

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