Economist says to start your summer job search early

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC)  - Alabama's unemployment rate is moving in the wrong direction, but the hiring outlook for this summer still looks good.

The current unemployment rate is 9.3%. That's up from 9.1% in December.

UAB economist Dr. Bob Robicheaux believes while the change is disappointing, retailers will still  hire seasonal employees. Alabama Adventure, McWane Science Center, and Birmingham Zoo are all planning to hire additional employees. Dr. Robicheaux said many of those positions will be part-time rather than full time. So the best advice is to start your job search early and be prepared.

"I think what people have to do is give thought to what companies are looking for," said Dr. Robicheaux. "Rather than have one general resume, they need to tailor how they present themselves to the company they talk to and find out what skills are critical."

UAB students ready to test the job market said they feel good about their chances.

"Just start as soon as possible obviously, and go where no one else is already, and keep a close eye on everything," said UAB student Justin Motley.

"It was kind of bad last year, but I think it will be better this year," added UAB student Sirderrion Hill.

Dr. Robicheaux said many companies are still hesitant to hire because they are watching to see how high gas prices go. However, he is still predicting slow and steady economic growth through the spring.

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