Job Club Shows Plenty of People Seek New Work
Byline: Joan Broz
Recent headlines trotting an unemployment rate "the lowest in 30 years" suggest a strong economy. October's new jobless rate of 4.1 percent is the lowest level most adults have seen since taking their first jobs.
In one measure, such statistics may bolster Wall Street, but they ring hollow on Front Street.
At 777 Front St., the Lisle Library hosts the Lisle Township Job Club at 10 a.m. every Friday. Roughly 30 participants come weekly for the support and networking the group provides. Through rightsizing, downsizing, reorganizing, elimination or whatever the current vernacular is, these men and women are looking for jobs.
Director of adult services for Lisle Township Joy Dooley said the assumption that the job market has never been better reflects "that we cannot find enough entry-level people." But if you want more than an entry-level position, unemployment statistics have not improved, she said.
"Our numbers (at the meeting) are consistently high," said Dooley, the group's facilitator. "Statistics at any given time can be deceiving. Anyone who is not collecting unemployment, which is half the people in this room, is not considered unemployed. If you have exhausted unemployment insurance benefits, not applied for benefits or taken a short-term consultant job that doesn't carry unemployment benefits, you are not on the record and counted.
"There is a hidden job seeker just as there is a hidden job market," she said. "Last month in the club 12 people got a job, but today there are six new people here."
At a typical meeting, participants included a telecommunications worker, human resource professional, sales manager, field representative, executive assistant, credit collector, technical writer, architect, accountant, nurse, and electrical, chemical and metallurgical engineers. The club provides hope and validation to them. Anyone who can benefit from the services of the club is welcomed.
"Everybody is here to help you," one member said. "By staying positive we get people on that new road looking at a job loss as an opportunity."
A genuine friendliness eases newcomers' concern if they should have come. An outside presenter speaks on some mechanics of the job search. …