YUMA, Ariz. – Albert Eaton moved to Yuma six months ago and says it’s not been easy finding work.
“Tough, really, it’s been tough,” Eaton said.
He hopes to land a permanent position rather than temporary work, something he says is hard to come by.
“Here it’s hard, because they’re either hiring temporary or they’re not hiring at all,” he told us.
Latest numbers show Yuma’s unemployment rate is 22.1%. That’s better than this time last year, but still far worse than the nation’s 5.5% average.
Patrick Goetz is a business services officer at Yuma Private Industry Council, a federally funded agency that helps job seekers find work. He says unemployment in Yuma County is seasonal.
“We’re in agricultural season. We have a lot of tourism. You have your winter visitors here. Naturally there’s more people employed,” Goetz explained.
The good news is work opportunities for local job seekers may be on the uptick. Goetz says many out of state companies come to take advantage of seasonal workers out of a job by early summer.
“El Centro, California and Yuma are heavily recruited, especially for companies operating out of Seattle and Alaska,” he went on to say.
Eaton says he had a job interview Thursday and is not giving up hope.
“I’m just gonna keep looking and have faith,” Easton said.
Alaska’s fishing season falls during the local off season for agriculture. That’s why several seafood companies come to the area looking for workers.