Unemployment Race Breakdown

Unemployment Race Breakdown

The national unemployment is at a four year low, but that doesn't mean anything to hundreds of Texomans who are still trying to find work.

Newschannel 6 set out to get one on one with the people who are on Texoma's unemployment line. We learned it's minority groups who are facing the biggest struggles. We spoke with one woman who isn't giving up, even if the unemployment race breakdown is against her.

Sanjuana Garcia is amongst many in Texoma looking to find a job and change her unemployment status. Right now, Sanjuana is cleaning homes for work and money. She said it's to put food on the table and get by, but what she really wants is a job behind a desk.

Sanjuana said, "I need a job really bad because I have to raise money to pay my rent, my car, my bills and everything for my daughters needs."

In hopes to turn things around, Sanjuana continues to clean homes, but is working to a better future. "I've been working hard cleaning houses probably for about 10 years. I'm very tired and I'm looking for a better position." Sanjuana added, "That's why I started to go to the school and get a better education."

Sanjuana has lived in the U.S. for 20 years and continues to take the necessary steps to prepare herself to land a job. Bill Scantlin, Business Services Manager at Workforce Solutions North Texas, said Texoma's current unemployment numbers as of May are at 5.8% lower than the state average of 6.9%.

Scantlin said when breaking down local unemployment numbers by race the African American and Hispanic populations are leading those numbers.

He said those statistics shouldn't discourage Sanjuana, in some ways she has an advantage.
"In this particular area because of the large number of Hispanics that are living in our area,  I think employers look at someone that is bilingual as a positive." Scantlin added, "I think that's a plus for any business that can bring those folks on board."

Sanjuana knows she does need to improve her English speaking. She said ESL classes are improving her English and she's graduated from Christian Women Job Corp., a free program free that helps woman succeed.

"When I saw that brochure it was like a light in the middle of the storm for me." Sanjuana added, "My self esteem was low and I think God was guiding me."

Since graduating the program Sanjuana has worked to get a certification as a  nurses assistant from Vernon College, and is currently working toward getting her GED. One day at a time Sanjuana said she is breaking down those barriers.

"It was very helpful for me because I remember when I came to the U.S. I couldn't say anything in English. I didn't know what to do, I felt like there were so many barriers."

Despite Sanjuana's efforts she's still jobless, no matter how many applications she fills out. This is a common issue many job seekers are in right now, despite race.

"We hear the same kinds of issues virtually from everybody. The fact that there aren't that many jobs out there." Santlin added, "The competition is keen so it's an employers world out there verses a job seekers world."

Sanjuana said she won't give up and continues to work toward at achieving her dream in the U.S. Scantlin said Sanjuana is on the right track. "People are looking at employees based on what you can bring to the company." Scantlin added, "They are looking at your skills more so than their race or nationality."

Sanjuana lives everyday with the same strength and courage as she did when she first came to this country.

Workforce Solutions North Texas said there are nearly 3,000 jobs in Texoma right now. They say a large percentage of those jobs do consider being bilingual a plus.

Natalie Garcia,   Newschannel 6