Jan 4, 2013 7:22 PM by Andy Koen
COLORADO SPRINGS - Even with the national unemployment rate holding steady at 7.8 percent in December, those who are out of work in Southern Colorado face a more challenging job market.
In November, the most recent month available, there were 25,765 people unemployed in El Paso County, or roughly 8.8 percent of the labor force. That labor force of 292,562 workers is also substantially smaller than it was in 2011 when 301,586 people were working.
Nonetheless, the new year brought a new crowd of job hunters to the Pikes Peak Workforce Center Friday.
Dominic Manchego, who is looking for jobs in the industrial field, says the market is extremely competitve.
"You're competing with everybody you gotta have your duckies in a row."
J-K McCain was recently laid off during a downsizing, but hopes employers will find her customer service skills useful.
"The workforce helped me years ago, and I was able to get a position and that's why I wanted to come utilize what's been given to the community for help."
So far this month, the center has received 622 new job listings. Of those, a majority (290) are classified in the professional, scientific and technical services fields. Food service (110) is the second largest followed by health care (70), retail (53), and utilities (40).