Unemployment numbers may be misleading

DANVILLE -- The Illinois Department of Employment Security says unemployment in Vermilion County jumped by more than one percent from December to January, but officials say those numbers might be misleading.

Right now there are more than 3,000 people unemployed in the Danville metro area, but experts suspect the number of people actually looking for jobs is a lot less.

Vicki Haugen, with Vermilion Advantage, has the numbers. More than 3,000 people are unemployed in the Danville area, but a little more than 800 are receiving unemployment benefits.

She said it's one of the reasons she believes there may not be as many people looking for jobs as the first number reflects.

"You know, it's kind of a catch-22 because we also know that there are multiple employers that have many opportunities that have gone unfilled for a while," said Haugen.

She said that's another problem. Those employers are having trouble connecting with people who do need jobs.

"Now, there is no single source where most people get their information from, specifically the younger set," said Haugen.

That's where Carla Boyd comes in.

"We cater to our community as well as to our student body," said Boyd.

She organizes the yearly job fair at Danville Area Community College.

She said employers contact her every day looking for qualified candidates, so she's working in every way possible to bridge the gap.

"We try to do our part by providing pre-job fair workshops," said Boyd. "We're going to help people get prepared, help them with resume-writing, so that they are the best-qualified candidates standing in front of those employers."

Another thing to consider is those numbers do not account for seasonal unemployment and those numbers are higher from December to January. 

DACC's job fair will take place April 19, from 9 am - 1 pm. It's open to anyone in the community looking for work.


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