POSTED: Friday, February 3, 2012 - 6:45pm
UPDATED: Friday, February 3, 2012 - 8:43pm
EL PASO - The Labor Department released a report on Friday showing unemployment numbers are down for the fifth straight month, but some El Pasoans are still struggling to find work.
The report said more than 243,000 jobs were added last month. In December, over 200,000 jobs were created. The new jobs in the past two months have helped bring the unemployment rate down to 8.3 percent.
Pavlo Rangel, an engineering student at UTEP, has been on the job hunt for several years. When he graduated he couldn't find a job, so he decided to stay in school and get his Master's degree.
"It's important to come to these kind of career fairs to keep applying and keep looking for something," Rangel said.
He and his friend Kathleen Zirlinden attended UTEP's career fair in hopes of finding a job, but they both agree it's not easy to find work in their field locally.
"El Paso is not one of the best job markets for students," Zirlinden said. "People holding degrees are forced to go somewhere else."
With the continuing trend of lower unemployment and hundreds of thousands of jobs being created every month, there's hope for finding a job.
"No matter what people are going to keep that optimism because we do have jobs and we do need jobs to pay for bills," Zirlenden said.
In a statement, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis stressed the drop in unemployment coming from new jobs, not workers leaving the labor force.