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Job Search Continues For Many Into 2014

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(CBS) – The number of people applying for work fell by 42,000 last week – the biggest drop since November 2012.

Still, more than 567,000 thousand people are unemployed in the Chicago area alone, and many of them were using the day after Christmas to jump on that job search.

Holiday mode was over for people looking for work. The employment advice line at Challenger, Gray & Christmas is proof of that. It was hopping Thursday.

John Challenger says the 2014 job outlook is positive, if this year’s trend continues.

He says there were 195,000 new jobs every month this year. But Chicago’s 8.1 percent unemployment rate still lags behind the national rate of 7 percent.

The jobs folks will find here? They are for skilled workers, accounting, engineering, technology, health care and medicine, Challenger says.

Most of the jobs are still the 40-hours-a-week sort.

“There are still far more full-time jobs than part time jobs in the economy,” he says. “And yet the growth of part-time jobs is continuing.”

Challenger says it’s too early to say how the Affordable Care Act will impact the job market. And for those discounting the value of a college education –don’t.

He says the unemployment rate for college grads is half what it is for the general population.

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