DORAL (CBS4) – Unemployed workers are starting to finally see some light at the end of the tunnel of the Great Recession.

The latest job numbers show layoffs around the country are starting to slow; but the numbers aren’t high enough to say the economy is out of the doldrums of the recession just yet.

“I do get interviews, which is better than before, but no offers,” said Broward County job seeker Gracie Quevedo.

Across the Sunshine State, 2011 has started with 8,000 more new jobs than last year. In addition, help wanted ads are up 71 percent over last fall, with almost 28,000 positions available statewide.

The best job growth is in the fields of hospitality, education, health and trade, according to state employment experts. But local job placement specialists said while jobs may be on the rise, salaries are still far lower than they once were.

“There is definite improvement,” said Diane Degado of Doral’s RiteHire Staffing Solutions. “We’ve seen a steady increase since last December. It’s getting better. But salaries are still low and anyone who used to make $50,000 needs to know the jobs out there are more openings now for $40,000 or $30,000 than $50,000.”

Delgado said she’s also seeing a lot of job-seekers refusing to take lower-paying positions because of the rising cost of gasoline. It’s making it just too expensive to commute to work every day.

Delgado said the local job market is also feeling the uncertainty of the unrest in the Middle East and the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake.

Still, local tourism and foreign trade continues to see major gains over last year. Local hiring, especially in those fields are expected to continue seeing decent gains.


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