New unemployment numbers are out and the news is not good.
The national unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent in May. The latest report marks the first increase in eleven months. Plus, the number of jobs created last month was much lower than predicted.
According to a local economist, multiple factors are weighing down the economy. Consumers are facing uncertain times due to the financial troubles in Europe and the fear of losing a job.
Many are turning to agencies like WorkOne for help finding a path to employment.
“It’s very overwhelming,” said Roberta Evans, who has been out of a job since January. “Not only do I try to look for jobs for myself, but my husband too. He's laid off from the same place I am. My daughter is currently not working.”
And, it looks like stories like Evans’ wont be disappearing any time soon.
“It’s a pretty gloomy economic situation based upon what we know now,” said Richard Measell, assistant professor of economics at St. Mary’s.
While reports out Friday put the national unemployment rate at 8.2 percent, the number is northern Indiana is at 8.4 percent.
“It’s really hard because I’m having to start all over again,” Evans said.
Though people may be cruising through town and working the phones to find a job, there is uncertainty in the air.
“The uncertainty out there causes them to not want to go out and spend,” Measell said. “And, because they are not spending, you have this cycle of not needing to hire so much, and it feeds on itself.”
Also on the downturn is the number of jobs created in May. More people are competing for positions.
“The ironic part about this is that the economy is weakened, and now we have more people looking for a job,” Meassel said. “Typically, when the economy gets weaker, people get discouraged and stop looking.”
Staff at WorkOne said workers need to stay relevant in changing industries in order to find a new job.
“They need to skill up, increase, boost their technical and soft skills,” said Chuck Knebl, from WorkOne.
Adding to these troubles, U.S. stocks closed Friday with their biggest declines this year.
The 17 countries that use the Euro are currently at a record-high 11 percent unemployment.