A Jobless Rate Still Unaffected by New Hiring
Hourly rate expectations
That concern is not lost on Roman Landa, a former mortgage broker in Glenview, another Chicago suburb, who suspended his job search in frustration early this winter after applying for nearly 700 positions in three years.
Because he has been out of finance for so long, he fears it is getting harder to go up against younger workers. “It’s like a boxer who is closer to retirement thinking he is as good as he was when he was 20 years old,” he said.
Mr. Landa, 36, who stayed home with his six-year-old son for two months without looking for work, started searching again in April. He has a promising lead, but if he does not receive an offer soon, he plans to enlist in the Army. “I need to take care of my family,” he said.
In some industries, the outlook is improving enough for re-entrants to find jobs. In April, manufacturers added 44,000 jobs, the largest increase since 1998. In Rockford, a manufacturing outpost west of Chicago, Donald Ritter, who was laid off 14 months ago, recently found a temporary job operating a machine for a hydraulics company.
Mr. Ritter, a boyish 52, had stopped submitting applications in the fall, when the want ads dried up. “I was not applying for work because there was no work,” he said.
Last month, he noticed an advertisement for eight immediate openings at the hydraulics firm, and pounced. He started there a few weeks ago at $13 an hour, a significant cut from the nearly $20 he was making a year ago. “Essentially, I am just going to get caught up by the time I am supposed to retire,” he said.
Ms. Myles, too, is discouraged by job prospects that will barely cover her expenses. But on a recent afternoon, she was determined not to lose hope again.
After finishing classes at the beauty academy, she drove to a nearby strip mall and dropped into an outlet of Tuesday Morning, a retailer that sells closeout housewares. A manager directed her to a computer kiosk in the corner.
In response to the question “What are your hourly rate expectations?” Ms. Myles quipped, “$4,000 an hour?” but typed in $12.
Once she finishes beauty school, Ms. Myles figures that at the least, she can administer facials and wax treatments from home.
For now, she is on the hunt. After finishing at Tuesday Morning, she spotted a Barnes & Noble across the parking lot. “I think I’ll go apply there,” she said, and sped off.