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State Employment Service Keeping Busy As Unemployment Drops

Florida’s unemployment rate dropped from 5.7% in May to 5.5% last month, according to the Department of Economic Opportunity. Much of the credit goes to the two dozen CareerSource Florida offices statewide.

CareerSource Florida is a statewide network of career development professionals, who work directly for Florida employers to find, develop and keep qualified talent. The local office is called “CareerSource EscaRosa,” and serves Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties with offices in Pensacola, Milton and Century.

“A lot of employers, especially your small businesses, they will post their jobs and will look for through us,” said Executive Director Susan Nelms. “And then sometimes they hire people that they know. You know, that old ‘Who you know not what you know’ sometimes.”

Besides hooking up employers with potential employees, the 24 offices are also the go-to when it comes to determining county unemployment figures through household surveys.

Nelms says so far, it’s been a busy summer for the local office, with a number of recruitment and job fairs, including one for veterans: all well-attended.

“Mostly hospitality, retail-type jobs,” Nelms said. “Except for the Department of Homeland Security, which is a highly-skilled workforce that they’re looking for.”

However, the summer months are not the busiest time of the year for CareerSource EscaRosa, that’s a bit earlier. Hospitality and tourism jobs are usually filled before the start of spring break around the first of March. Besides the tourism-related jobs, Nelms says another hot area for jobs is STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

The CareerSource offices also invest in programs to help businesses identify and cultivate Florida’s talent pool so that prospective employees have the skills and experience companies seek.

Individuals who receive employment and training assistance through a CareerSource Center, and find a job within 180 days, is a placement and may be reported by a regional workforce board. Last year, 471,000 people were placed, including 24,000 veterans.

More information on seeking a job and other related services can be found at www.careersourceescarosa.com.

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