Some Alabamians Struggling to Find Work


By Jessica Gertler

Alabama's unemployment rate has gone up again. It's now 8.5 percent. Rising for the fourth month in a row. While we're used to hearing the numbers, we don't usually think about the people who can't find work.

CBS 8 News went around the city of Montgomery talking with those who have been out of work. We listened to their struggles and how hard it's been landing a job.

There are 183 thousand unemployed in the state of Alabama.

"A year and a half ago I was a consultant in maintenance. The business went out of service," says Alonzo Franklin.

For the last 18 months, Franklin has spent his days applying for work, and his nights at the Salvation Army's Shelter. He lands a job every so often, but not enough he says to get him back on his feet.

"I just keep seeking, and if I get turned down, I keep going again," he says.

Najah Veasley is a single-mother of two.

"I don't always have the money to get them everything they need. If I had a job, it would be easier," she says.

Veasley says if she took a job that pays minimum wage, she'd have to work 70 hours a week to support her family. Veasley is going back to school to earn a degree in Elementary Education.

"Now and days you have to have a degree to get a job. I'm not looking at working at restaurant or a book store. I need something that will set me up for my kids," she says.

And there's Brittany Cheever. She's majoring in social work, and will graduate next Spring.

"I just pray I'm one of the lucky ones that finds a job," Cheever says.

Her biggest fear is not being able to pay back her student loans.

"It's hard for you to get a job job. Let a lone a career, so it's kind of hard," Cheever says.

Alabama's unemployment rate is .6 percent better than this time last year.

The three counties that reported the highest unemployment rates are all in our area. They're Wilcox, Bullock and Dallas counties.

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