ASHWAUBENON - According to the most recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in February 2011, the state's unemployment rate was 7.6 percent.
In February 2012, Wisconsin's unemployment dropped down to 6.9 percent.
While Wisconsin saw a decrease, new national numbers show the job market is still sluggish.
Weekly unemployment benefit applications rose 13,000 last week to total about 380,000.
That is there where numbers have been hovering for the past two months.
When applications fall below 375,000, it usually helps lower the nation's unemployment rate.
Although the job market might not look the best right now, some area companies are hiring.
Ashwaubenon-based Shopko announced Tuesday it is looking to fill more than 100 new positions at its corporate headquarters.
"We've got the merger with Pamida that was officialized in February and with that came many new job opportunities," said Ann McCotter, Director of Recruiting and Organization Development for Shopko.
After merging with its partner company, Omaha-based Pamida last year, only about 30 employees decided to make the move to Wisconsin and the company needs to fill the rest.
And some jobs will be moving back to the United States.
In 2010, Shopko outsourced about 70 IT jobs to India.
"Some of that outsourcing is still happening for the right types of business," said McCotter. "But in some areas we've decided we can do it better ourselves, we'll bring it in house."
Shopko will hold its career fair on April 19th from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm at 700 Pilgrim Way in Ashwaubenon.
McCotter asks job-seekers to apply online to streamline the application process.
Don't think your skills fit the bill for Shopko? It's not the only job fair in the near future.
On April 23rd, Congressman Reid Ribble will hold a job fair at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay.
Congressman Tom Petri will also hold a job fair at the Oshkosh Convention Center.
Despite the job opportunities on the horizon, companies are being very particular about who they will hire.
Workforce Development says job-seekers need to do their homework and do it well.
"You can't just walk in and have a pulse and expect to get a job anymore," explained Jim Golembeski, the Executive Director of the Bay Area Workforce Development Board.
He says job-seekers need to be on their "A -game," and know what they're looking for in a job – and want it.
"They're looking for people who show enthusiasm, the ability to add real value to their company. You have to go out and sell yourself. Period."
Golembeski has a few tips:
- Do plenty of research on the job you are looking to apply for and the company it is with.
- Have a résumé ready to hand out to employers.
- Dress the part. Golembeski says appearances can mean a lot to employers.
If you're looking for a job, or have a job to post, we can help.
Employers can post jobs for free - and if you're looking for work - you can browse through the listings.
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