Metro Valdosta Unemployment Rate

Valdosta is just one community that's seen its unemployment rate rise. Metro Valdosta's unemployment rate grew again in May, reaching four percent.

Some say the problem is bigger than it appears because many people are taking whatever job they can just to pay the bills.

Emily Chambers, who wants more job growth, says, "Most of the people I know who are looking for jobs are able to find them, but they're generally jobs that they didn't train for, so it's pretty difficult to get a job in your job market."

Others are more optimistic about what opportunities are available in this region.

Leon Pearce, who is hopeful about jobs, says, "If they hire local people, it would be better for the economy, keep people from going 20-30 miles to look for a job. There's a lot of jobs in this community, all they have to do is go out and look for them, apply themselves."

Folks who are already employed in our region say it may not be the number of jobs available that's the real problem; they say it's the low pay that really has them concerned and has them looking to other areas for their future employment.

August Love, uncertain about local jobs, says, "When it comes to Valdosta it's not the job market, there's plenty of jobs around. It's just the rate of pay. Me, personally, I'm working two jobs just trying to make ends meet."

That has many folks hoping for a quick change so they can find a good job close to home. Georgia's statewide average has grown to five percent, while Florida is doing much better, only at four percent.