JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The numbers are out and Jacksonville's unemployment rate is down to 5.8 percent. That's a decline of nearly two percentage points when compared to last year. But despite the positive news, there are still many people here on the First Coast who say they're unable to find a job to make ends meet.
With Christmas just days away it can be especially difficult having to do without a job. But according to recent numbers released, things are looking up for some.
The Jacksonville Metropolitan area experienced an increase of 11,600 jobs, comparing November of 2012 to the same time period this year.
The industries that have seen the largest gains include professional and business services, with 6,400 jobs. Followed by trade, construction as well as transportation and utilities. The Jacksonville Metro area ranked fifth in the state of Florida for high wage/high skill job openings.
But, according to the Florida Department of Economic opportunity in the month of November the latest figures showed there were 40,715 unemployed people in the Jacksonville area. Among them is Brenda Espinet, a mother of three who says she's been on the hunt for a job for several months.
"I can find anywhere from 10 to 15 jobs a day to apply for that are in my field with customer service, unfortunately there are other people out there who are applying for the exact same 10 or 15 jobs that I'm applying for," said Espinet. "We don't have a lot but we have a grandmother and a grandfather, and I have some good friends back home that are sending some gifts, which is nice for the children. And they understand that things are really tight this year. But maybe next year will be different."
Espinet says the decline in the unemployment rate is encouraging news. The state's unemployment rate has also slightly decreased this month, it's now at 6.4 percent. Our national average is 7 percent.