LCSN: With jobs scarce, public sector offers opportunity at the Borderlands Public Service Career Showcase

November 18, 2009. Retrieved online November 18, 2009 from Amanda L. Husson, Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES — When Clara Yuvienco graduated in December with her master’s degree in public health, she thought she was well-positioned to get a job. Now, nearly a year later, she’s still looking.

“I haven’t been able to find a job in this town, even though I’m bilingual and I have a couple of minors,” Yuvienco said as she browsed the tables at the Borderlands Public Service Career Showcase on Tuesday at New Mexico State University.

The job fair, though geared primarily toward students who might not have much experience, attracted many older residents like Yuvienco as well, who were looking for a career change or simply seeking a job with stability in a time when many industries are not hiring or are laying off workers.

The unemployment rate in Doña Ana County at of the end of September was 7.7 percent, up from 4.7 percent a year ago, and the national unemployment numbers have reached the double-digit phase. But public sector jobs are available with the federal government. And, even if some state and local governments are putting the brakes on hiring, they still need to keep some positions filled, said James Peach, who teaches economics and international business at New Mexico State University.

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