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Augusta job hunters react to growing unemployment numbers


The national unemployment numbers are getting scarier for those scouring to find jobs. (WRDW-TV / July 8, 2011)

News 12 First at Five / Friday, July 8, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- If you're looking for a job, the search may have just gotten even tougher.

New numbers out Friday show the national unemployment rate is even higher. Plus, employers added the fewest jobs in nine months.

We're still waiting on Georgia and South Carolina's numbers, but if they're anything like the national average, things aren't looking good for the unemployed.

Emma Camacho, 57, has been out of work for more than a year and she's sick of hearing the word no.

"It hurts, because I know I have a lot to contribute to society and to contribute to any employer that hires me," Camacho said. "I would like to do a good day's job for a good day's pay based on my experience."

Camacho said despite her 35 years of work experience, nearly every time she's been turned away it's because of her age.

"I would like for them to take a chance. I can prove that I am a valuable employee and I am dependable and I am trustworthy," Camacho said.

New numbers paint a bleak picture for Emma and the job market, as the unemployment rate in June rose to 9.2 percent.

"We're competing against the economy and we're also competing against each other trying to get those few jobs," Camacho said.

Amber Brown, 25, is looking for a job in the customer service industry.

"It's kind of discouraging seeing how I've seen a lot of people that's been laid off from other jobs, so it's like all of those people are joining the work force trying to get a job," Brown said.

Only 18,000 jobs were added in June, the lowest since last September.

The new numbers are even grabbing the president's attention.

"We've added more than 2 million new private sector jobs over the past 16 months, but the recession cost us more than 8 million. and that means that we still have a big hole to fill," said President Barack Obama.

Republican leaders used the report to hold the line on taxes.

"Tax hikes on families and job creators will only make things worse," said House Speaker Rep. John Boehner.

Worse, Republican leaders say, for job hunters like Camacho.

"I keep plugging along, I don't stop, I can't stop," Camacho said.

More than 14 million Americans are out of work, just about half of them are considered long-term unemployed, meaning they've been out of work for six months or longer.

The Georgia and South Carolina numbers are expected later this month.

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