New labor statistics show the number of people seeking unemployment benefits is down across the country. In the latest statistics available, California had the largest decrease in initial unemployment claims, down more than 20,000. This is four times more than any other state in the nation.
Around 50,000 people in Kern County are still unemployed and 20,000 people receive unemployment benefits.
Henry DeLaRosa, Sr. said he's been looking for a job for four years. So far, he's only had temporary jobs and comes into the Career Services Center several days a week.
"They do recommend you to different jobs and they look at your resume, review them and if you can't do a resume, they will help you here," said DeLaRosa said. "This is a good resource."
Career Services Center is a federally-funded program, providing employment services.
"Getting people employed in the community so that you have, you know, the economy gets better, everybody's working, everybody's spending money, there makes jobs open in other fields, everything works together. So, that's what we want. We want to try and get everybody back to where they need to be," said Career Services Center's marketing director Danette Scarry.
The most recent numbers indicate 51,000 of the 381,000 employable people in Kern County are unemployed. The county's unemployment rate for December 2012 is 13.5%, higher than both the California and national averages. The latest rate is improving, in December 2011 unemployment was at 14.3% and in 2010 it was 16.4%.
Where will it go from here? Scarry said the employment future remains uncertain. "A lot of employers have been working lean. They let go a lot of people and if they struggled enough to actually survive the recession and they're still out there, they have learned to live with less staff, less workforce. There may be some if they're expanding, they'll expand with people, but they may not hire back what they used to work with, just because they've been able to figure out how to do it with less people," said Scarry.
Job seekers like DeLaRosa will continue their search. All of the help offered through Career Services Center is free.