More than half a million Ohioans are out of work, according to the Department of Job and Family Services.
That doesn’t include the number of people who are under employed or working beneath their capabilities.
Employment specialist Jamie Cahoon from Robert Half International in Beachwood says anyone who is having trouble finding a position that’s right for them may be looking in the wrong place.
“The national statistics say about 16.1% of people are under employed,” said Cahoon.
Amanda Sidoti, 24, from Brecksville, told Fox 8 she’s one of the under employed Cahoon is talking about.
Sidoti graduated with a degree in education in December 2010.
She said after four months of substitute teaching she had no offer of full-time employment and little hope that one was coming.
That’s when she decided it was time to rethink her job search.
“Having a four-year college degree and not being able to find a job in your field is difficult,” said Sidoti.
Cahoon said whether under employed or unemployed, it’s common for job seekers to focus their search on industries with which they are familiar.
According to Cahoon, what they need to do instead is assess the skills they have and think about how those skills will translate to other occupations.
“You have to be open,” said Cahoon.
She said the job sectors with the most job openings in northeast Ohio are health care, information technology and manufacturing.
“Our manufacturing industries are coming back and they’re growing again,” said Cahoon. “We’re seeing a lot of hiring from our manufacturing companies so I would put a lot of your effort into there as well.”
Cahoon also recommended taking a temporary position to get a foot in the door.
That’s what Sidoti did. She walked into Robert Half’s Beachwood office and interviewed with a recruiter.
The recruiter coached Sidoti and then sent her for an interview at a local company.
The former substitute teacher is now working as a temp in training services support.
Her new employer is so impressed with her effort the company has made it clear it wants to hire her permanently.
“It’s great, I love it. I wake up for work every morning and I’m ready to go,” said a smiling Sidoti.