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More people working locally, but maybe not in top jobs

Across the region, unemployment rates seem to be beating the national numbers, but although many locals may be finding work, not all are finding high paying jobs.

Almost across the board among counties in eastern Idaho, unemployment numbers have dropped by one percent or more since last year.

“Right now as a state and as a region, it seems like we’re in a better shape than the rest of the country,” Department of Labor Regional Economist Dan Cravens said.

The DOL has seen locally a big rebound in the amount of job openings listed by employers each year.

Before the recession in 2008, about 6,000 openings in Bannock County, in 2009, about 2,000.

Cravens said this year is on pace to get back up to those pre-recession levels.

“That’s good news. When companies are hiring that obviously indicates job creation and more optimism and more confidence in the economy,” Cravens said.

One company ramping up hiring recently is Convergys. At the Pocatello branch Convergys planning on hiring 80 people each month from now till December.

But all these figures show the numbers of jobs, quantity not quality.

And that’s one area the DOL said still needs to recover.

“It’s not uncommon in a recovery for these lower wage jobs to appear first before you see those higher wage jobs in the economy. I’m optimistic they will come, unfortunately this is a slow process,” Cravens said.

Click here to see county-by-county unemployment data.

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