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Thousands of job openings available in Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Despite dire statistics about joblessness in the United States, there are many jobs available in Utah -- tens of thousands of jobs, in fact.

There are still thousands of people in Utah filing for unemployment, but the Utah Department of Workforce Services says there are also thousands of jobs waiting to be snatched up.

The DWS Downtown Employment Center was packed with people applying for jobs Tuesday afternoon.

"I'm kind of getting down about it, but you gotta just keep a good attitude and keep looking," said Scott Pharis.

"It's terrible," said James Pulale. "I've come here four times a week and I still can't find anything."

Pharis and Pulale were among the many hoping to get one of the 27,000 available jobs DWS has listed.

"We're seeing a little bit of job growth, and we're hoping things are getting better; and I think the demand is showing more jobs are out there," said DWS spokesman Curt Stewart.

Stewart said in August DWS received 9,000 job orders from employers -- each order usually lists three jobs needed.

About six months ago, DWS was getting 5,000 orders a month.

Stewart said the jobs range from entry-level to highly-experienced positions, but the competition is stiff for those jobs.

"A lot of people have been out of work long enough that they're willing to take a lower-paying job that maybe has a different skill set, and they're way over-qualified, and that sometimes works against them," Stewart said.

In Utah, the unemployment rate is 7.2 percent; nationwide, it's 9.5 percent.

The state's latest unemployment filings for the week ending Sept. 3 totaled 2,261. Compare that to the summer high of 2,600 in July.

The DWS reception desk still gets hundreds of calls a day from people looking for work. Receptionist Glenna Andra will answer the phones until she retires on Thursday -- 350 people applied for her job.

"I've really enjoyed my career, but I feel it's time to give someone else a chance," Andra said.

Stewart said the department, just like everyone else, is hoping the economy turns around, and they are seeing some good signs.

For those out of work, Stewart said, "Don't give up at all. This is a good time to start looking."

For more information on job openings listed with the Department of Workforce Services, CLICK HERE. You can also look into the department's employment center resources for help.


Story compiled with contributions from Nicole Gonzales and Randall Jeppesen.

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