State workers may face tough job market - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

State workers may face tough job market

Alexis Liftee Alexis Liftee
Dav Cabatingan Dav Cabatingan
Kenny Martinez Kenny Martinez

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - While the fate of furloughs and layoffs is still up in the air, the reality is about 1,100 state workers may be lose their jobs about 90-days from now. So what would it take for them to find a new one?

With nearly 50,000 unemployed in the state out there already looking, it's going to be tough. It could take weeks, months, maybe even years.

"let's see kind of openings do we have today? Clerk secretary trainee, must be self motivated," said Honolulu Resident Alexis Liftee.

Alexis Liftee looks and looks.

"That's great, will train. Please fax your resume."

She has a background in clerical work. She sifts through job ads daily, but there's one big problem.

"I don't get any calls," said Liftee.

She doesn't even have luck at job fairs.

"It was just filled with people, just elbow to elbow," said Liftee.

And after two years, still nothing.

"It gets very depressing," said Liftee.

This week, Governor Linda Lingle identified about 1,100 state employees that may get laid off. That means Hawaii's unemployment rate of nearly 8% will go up.

"I hope they don't have to wait for as long as I've been waiting for," said Liftee.

"They're going to be facing a really tough market out there," said Spherion Staffing Services Specialist Dav Cabatingan.

Staffing agencies say salaries are going down because people are desperate.

"Employers are being more picky because they can. There are more than a hundred applicants per job," said Cabatingan.

Kenny Martinez says the rejection is really frustrating.

"Many, many places, filling out forms, filling out more forms, I spent 6 months," said Honolulu Resident Kenny Martinez.

Liftee says patience won't pay the bills, but never giving up and staying positive will eventually land her the perfect position. Job experts say whether you're a state worker or any of Hawaii's unemployed, the best advice is to take what you can get now, even if it means a position out of your normal expertise.

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