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More people seeking help from Employment Security Commission

Posted October 29, 2008
Updated October 30, 2008

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— The Employment Security Commission of North Carolina says it has seen a big spike in the number of jobseekers flooding their offices each month because of the troubled economy.

Unemployment across the state has risen steadily since January, when 5 percent of the work force was jobless. That number jumped to nearly 7 percent for September.

The ESC says it now sees about 16,000 people a month, compared with January, when it saw about 8,000.

But the office says persistence can pay off for jobseekers and that job fairs, like the one held at the Renaissance Raleigh Hotel at North Hills on Wednesday, can be good to help find jobs.

"We have them going on all the time," said Gene Norton, manager of the ESC's Raleigh office. "And of course, that is a sign that there are jobs available."

Norton said he is seeing many jobs in the health care industry and – as the holiday season approaches – the retail industry.

For example, the Renaissance, set to open in mid-December, is looking to hire up to 200 employees ranging from front-desk level to management.

"We started this morning at 7 a.m., and we had people waiting out the front door about 6 a.m.," said the hotel's manager, Bill Gant. "And the flow has not let up."

Nearly 500 people applied for the upcoming hotel positions Wednesday, Grant said.

The job fair continues Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon in the space across from Ben & Jerry's and Starbucks near The Commons at North Hills at 4151 Main at North Hills Street in Raleigh.

"We're looking for every conceivable position," Gant said.

And some of the applicants say they are, too.

"You do what you can, and you just keep plugging away," said Ashley Powell, who once owned an event-planning business that was forced closed by the struggling economy. "I've been on, probably, 15 to 20 interviews over the last two months."


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  • Stormy13 Oct 30, 2008

    The Employment Security Commission makes the "first" decision as to whether you get unemployment or not. I left a job several years ago when company downsizing was going on. They were moving everything to Charlotte where their home office was located. I was denied unemployment and appealed at once. That's when the employer, you and the ESC have a one on one question and answer session. The employer I had worked for did not object one bit to my receiving unemployment, it was the ESC! Need I say I was granted unemployment after all that.

  • WRAL is joe_dirt Oct 30, 2008

    Unemp benefits are not designed to cover your personal standard of livivg. If you live modestly, you're probably in good shape. If you're a high roller, good luck.

  • regansdad2 Oct 29, 2008

    JOB FAIRS - OH GOODY, now all we have to do is drive to Wake County to get a job paying way less then what we were making before. I live in Johnston County and have yet to see a JOB FAIR here. With the economy going down hill, it is almost not worth having to drive 500 miles round trip for a week. Even though gas prices are going down, everything else is still going going up.

  • Adelinthe Oct 29, 2008

    computer trainer -

    BTW - I filed for unemployment on 10/1 and have already received confirmation back from them with a statement of my benefit payment.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Adelinthe Oct 29, 2008

    computer trainer -

    You sound like you know a lot about this.

    I was laid off on 9/30 with 7.1 weeks of severance. My last severance hits this Friday. My employer said they sent the form back to NCESC last week.

    Will unemployment begin to hit my bank account next week or will I have to wait several weeks too? (Yikes!) Have tried to contact NCESC; they never call or email back.

    Thanks for your help.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • computer trainer Oct 29, 2008

    georgiat28, unfortunately, you are not the one who pays unemployment tax, the employers alone pay that.

    If your employer gets the information back quickly to the ESC, it will not take as long, if the only issue on your claim is that you lost your job.

    If you are denied your claim, please appeal immediately. You have 30 days, but you need to do it immediately.

  • Adelinthe Oct 29, 2008

    The various governments need to START spending, loosen up projects on hold, bring forward planned projects.

    For only if they start spending money will consumers feel they can.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Adelinthe Oct 29, 2008

    georgia -

    Actually six weeks is the norm; not sure why it takes them so darn long. And they expect all of our bills to go away for that length of time. It's absolutely ludicrous and always has been.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • georgiat28 Oct 29, 2008

    I have paid my taxes for years! Now I am unemployed and I need help but I am told it will take 6-8 weeks before a decision is made. I have got a mortgage payment, car payment, etc. They are not going to wait 6-8 weeks for a payment. Easley is talking about all these cuts, how about cutting his salary as well as his wife's.

  • dink1977 Oct 29, 2008

    We are having a layoff here in Zebulon on Thurday Dec 30 at GlaxoSmithKline. Here is at least 50-100 more that will need unemployment...