Finding a Job in Nevada's Tough Economy - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Finding a Job in Nevada's Tough Economy

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John Potter
Channel 2 News

For the state, it is encouraging news. But for Northern Nevada, it's another disappointment. While the state's 13% unemployment rate in November fell to 12.6% in December, here in Reno/Sparks, unemployment climbed to 11.9%. In Carson City, even higher, to 12.2%. Those numbers mark three years straight of unemployment in the double digits.

                       December 2011      November 2011
Nevada                   12.6%            13%
Reno/Sparks           11.9%           11.6%
Carson City            12.2%           11.9%
Source: Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation

And those numbers don't reveal the total unemployment picture. As State Treasurer Kate Marshall told us on "Channel 2 News This Morning", it doesn't include those who were downgraded to part time or others who just gave up looking. "So we have less people looking for work." What is the real unemployment rate in our state? Marshall said, "If you count the underemployed and the unemployed, you're looking at about 23%."

One thing is clear: recovery is proving to be slow and uneven. Full recovery could take years. That's why networking events are moving front and center as all-important ways for job seekers to get work. We found one Monday at the Atlantis Resort and Casino.

"Pronet" helps unemployed professionals learn new job hunting skills to get their next job. Jobless workers like Rich Olson, who told us, "I was with a company and my position was eliminated soon after the company was acquired." Olson lost a good job three months ago. "I've been talking to people. But the right thing hasn't come along. At times it's been discouraging."

Pronet's Pieter Droog told us, "When you lose your job you lose your identity. When you lose your identity you lose your confidence. When you lose your confidence, then all of a sudden you're sitting alone in the dark, watching TV in your bunny slippers."

Droog says anyone unemployed these days has to be more flexible. He told us job hunters have to be ready to "Look into another area. Look to a lower paycheck. And in some cases, look to another state."

We also found Matthew Gomez. He's been out of work for nearly a year. He says he's considering temporary work. "If there's a place I can make a true contribution to a company on a short-term basis, I'd be more than happy to do that."

According to Pronet's Droog, that's a great way to get your foot in the door for the next opening. "There's an irony, employers for some reason have a prejudice against unemployed people. It is easier to find a job when you have a job, so even if it's part time or temporary, you have a better chance of finding work than if you're unemployed."

A few more ideas we heard at the networking event: volunteer. While doing that, you may end up meeting someone who knows of a job opening that fits you. Take advantage of training programs, like the ones Pronet offers. And do something, because the person who stays active in part time or volunteer work is more attractive to an employer than the guy relaxing on unemployment.

If you'd like to know more about Pronet and the training offered to job seekers and its upcoming networking events, just click this link:


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