Local jobs forecast improves

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - We know it still looks a little gray out there, but the jobs forecast is improving.

"In our area, it will certainly be much more positive this year than last year," says Wells Fargo Chief Economist John Silvia.

The national unemployment rate is now sinking at the fastest pace in half a century. A government survey says more than a half-million people have recently found work. Manufacturers have added 49,000 jobs, the most since1998. And retailers have created 28,000 jobs - that's the most they've hired in a year.

Silvia says those industries are gaining here, and others.

"Education and health is very strong. Leisure and hospitality is very strong, and we'll certainly see that in Charlotte over the next couple of years with the Democratic National Committee coming here," he points out.

We're looking at new white collar jobs, and blue.

Trucking has been called the lifeblood of the economy. When business gets flowing again, so do shipments, and Southeastern Freight Lines tells us things are improving so much in Charlotte, it's opening another service center here, and hiring 100.

To apply for one of those jobs, log on to www.sefl.com.

But before you do that, think about this.

If you've never worked in one of the industries just mentioned, how will you sell yourself to them? Bill Crigger, president of Compass Career Management Solutions, says give yourself a crash course.

"You need to know how they make money, how they lose money, how they gain customers, how they might lose customers" Crigger says, "and something about the vendor base. If you know that, you'll know more than 90% of the people looking for a job."

And Crigger says once you've got the basics down, focus on how you'd adapt your strengths, "hitting on those key points and you change those key points based on the employer that you're applying for," he says.