Unemployment Rate Drops, Wichitans See Benefits

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Friday, October, 5, 2012

It's being called a sign of hope for millions of Americans struggling to find work. Last month, the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to its lowest rate in years as employers added more than 100,000 jobs.

According to the Kansas Department of Labor, Wichita's unemployment rate has been slowly, but steadily dropping for almost two years. KAKE News spoke with an organization that says the number of women in Wichita finding work is a good sign of just how much things are improving.

When searching for a new job, first impressions are everything.

"They walk in, they look professional; it shows the employer that they're serious about their job search that they are committed to a career,” said Pat Jones, the Executive director of Dress for Success, Wichita.

But Jones knows that not all women have an interview-appropriate outfit hanging in their closet. That's where Dress for Success can help.

"We help women who might have barriers or challenges getting in to the workplace,” Jones said.

Here, women can find everything they need to look professional from head to toe. But, Jones says, for several years, even the most polished interview outfit hasn't helped the women who come to them to land a job.

"We saw more and more women who needed help and it was frustrating for them to do everything they could and still not be able to get employment,” Jones said.

The job search may be getting easier for people across the country.

Last month, the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent, dropping below 8 percent for the first time in nearly four years.

"I wasn't surprised,” Jones said.

She says lately she's not only seen a steady increase in the number of women getting hired, they're finding better, higher paying jobs.

"We're really encouraged about that we thought if these women are able to get jobs that that's a good sign for the whole economy,” Jones said.

Jones says she hopes the unemployment rate continues to fall and says she's ready to help women in Wichita, look their best while looking for jobs.

Last month's unemployment rate for Kansas and Wichita won't be out for another two weeks but the people we spoke with at the Department of Labor expect September’s unemployment rate will be slightly lower than August.

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