Newsday talks to Long Islanders about news that the unemployment rate, reported at 8.3 percent on Feb. 3, 2012, is the lowest rate in three years.
Jo Anne Klement, 65, of Westbury, became unemployed in 2010, when her job in a local retailer's call center was outsourced after a year. "So many of the jobs I can't do any more because they have been sent overseas," Klement said. Her 15 years of experience as an administrative assistant in the health-care industry hasn't given her the edge she expected. (Feb. 3, 2012)
Christopher DeNigris, 26, of Babylon, an underemployed teacher, thought a graduate degree in education would give him the advantage he needed to land a social studies teaching job during the economic downturn. But three years after earning his advanced diploma from Dowling College, an exhaustive job search is threatening to chase DeNigris from Long Island. (Feb. 3, 2012)
Evelyn Stovelo, 65, of Elmont, a retired dietitian, hopes that by the end of the year many people deeply affected by the downturn and ensuing stagnant economy will be able to begin rehabilitating their lives. Though she is enjoying her retirement, she hopes an improved environment will allow her to find a part-time job and bring in a little extra income. (Feb. 3, 2012)
Barbara Makowski, 51, of Bayville, lost her job as a bookkeeper at a nonprofit in November 2010, after seven years on the job. Though the national jobs picture brightened considerably in January, Makowski believes that improvement hasn't reached Long Island. (Feb. 3, 2012)
Jasmine Johnson, 20, of Hempstead, is studying to become a medical assistant. She said she personally hasn't felt the negative effects of the slow economy. Johnson, who works part-time at a KFC, considers herself "blessed," because she and her friends go to school and have jobs and parents to help them. (Feb. 3, 2012)
Tom Warmingham, 55, of Farmingdale, a sales manager, says he looks around and, despite positive economic signs nationally, it's difficult to shake his pessimism about Long Island's long-dreary job market. "I know a lot of people getting laid off," Warmingham said. "I know a lot of people out of work. Friends, co-workers." (Feb. 3, 2012)