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Local industries adding jobs despite wage issue

Posted at 4:23 PM, Jun 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-03 17:21:28-04

U.S. employers drastically slowed their hiring in May, adding just 38,000, the fewest in more than 5 years and a sign of concern after the economy barely grew in the first three months of the year.

At the same time, the unemployment rate tumbled to 4.7 percent from 5 percent, the Labor Department said Friday, its lowest point since November 2007. The rate fell for a problematic reason: Nearly a half-million jobless Americans stopped looking for work and so were no longer officially counted as unemployed.

That's something Diana Peery, a Bradenton resident, knows all too well. She lost her office job more than a year ago for medical reasons and now drives for Uber full-time.

She found that pay at the office jobs she was applying to just wasn't cutting it any way.

"It's difficult to make ends meet," Peery said. "The price of everything is going up."

In the latest jobs report, while some workers are seeing slightly higher pay, wage growth is slower than it's been in years.

"We are still notoriously low in Tampa as far as money goes," said Lee Rachelson of TempWise, an employment agency in Tampa. "The average entry-level job will stay between $13 and $15."

ABC Action News checked in with local employment agencies to see how some of the areas top industries are doing in light of the jobs report.

There remains a huge demand for certified nursing assistants and health care workers, as Tampa Bay's population continues to age. There's also demand on the administrative side of health care.

"We are doing a lot of medical billing," Rachelson said.

The hospitality industry, huge for the Tampa Bay area, continued to add jobs in May.

There also continues to be a huge shortage on manufacturing workers in the area, especially when it comes to soldering, cabling and welding, according to Eileen Johnson of The Reserve Network, based in Clearwater

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