Lake Unemployment Decreases

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CAMDENTON - After a long winter of continued high unemployment rates in Mid-Missouri, the jobs are up in the Lake Area as tourists return for the spring.

Higher traffic at the lake means seasonal employment at local hotels, restaurants, and shopping areas.

"This area, at the first of the year, we were running about a 15% unemployment rate, seeing about 3,000 plus people per month," said Jim Dickerson, who is the Central Regional Workforce Chairman for the Missouri Career Center. "Now, our traffic is probably going to be down this month by a third. I think that's a strong indicator people are going back to work, no longer drawing on unemployment benefits, and not having to come check-in at the career center," he added.

Some of the drop in attendence at the Career Center could be contributed to those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits and are no longer required to go. However, Dickerson said he doesn't believe those numbers are too significant.

In February, unemployment dropped in Camden County from 15.3% to 15.1%. Although numbers for March and April haven't been reported yet, a more drastic drop is expected to be reported.

Most of the job creation is seasonal. Some people at the Career Center are waiting for full time opportunities.

"I need something full time year round, but at this point I'd settle for seasonal," said Daniel Moore.

The Career Center says the majority of available jobs have been in the restaurant industry, but there are also available jobs in multiple professions. 

"The one area that's been stubborn at the lake area has been construction. We still have construction workers coming in who haven't gone back to work yet. We're hopeful with weather improving and warming up that they'll be going back to work too," said Dickerson.

For more information, visit the Missouri Department of Labor webpage.