It's back to work for many who had been unemployed

Requests for benefits drop

POSTED: 07:12 PM PDT May 09, 2013    UPDATED: 05:06 PM PDT May 10, 2013 
Job fair
GOLETA, Calif. -

New numbers show requests for unemployment benefits have dropped.  It's a sign of a rebounding economy with more people going back to work.

The recent unemployment rates for Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties are all down, well below where they were this time last year.

"It's hard and it takes a lot of work and if you have the time and if you know what you're looking for and if you have skills in that area it's a little bit easier," said Rachael McAllister who has work now but hopes to use business and language skills to get a better job in the months ahead.

McAllister works two jobs.  One is at a fast food restaurant.  She says, however, it teaches her many skills that she will use in other jobs down the road.  "So it's a lot of multitasking, taking orders, dealing with difficult customers, handling money and keeping drawers balanced."

The Spherion staffing company says there are many strong industries for job growth in Santa Barbara County.  "That includes professional services, and we've seen an uptick in manufacturing," said Trish Miller at the Spherion Goleta office.

Miller says seasonal hiring in hospitality and agriculture is also creating more jobs.

She also says, age should not hinder applicants.   "Having a diverse workforce  especially age and gender definitely makes you more relatable," said Miller.

For Marcus Lego, a construction worker, it's still tough.  He says he can do drywall, plumbing, pipe fitting and more, but getting a job has been very hard. "I've been in construction all my life," he said.   Lego also says his last steady job was two years ago.