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Jobless Rate Drops; Opportunities Exist North Of NYC

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- There was positive economic news announced Friday. The unemployment rate has taken an unexpected drop, falling to a two-year low of 8.8 percent.

CBS 2's Lou Young found out where the jobs are surfacing.

It's a sign of improvement: a local economy that's now adding jobs.

"We're not out of the woods; there's still work to be done but, you know there's good signs," said New York State Department of Labor economist John Nelson said.

The counties north of the city added between 5,000 and 6,000 jobs so far this year and that's good news considering two sectors are bleeding heavily. Government employment and education are both losing jobs. People who feel qualified in those areas have to settle.

"It's mostly sales right now, unfortunately. That's not guaranteed, you know? Basically where the economy is going, I want something more guaranteed," Mount Vernon resident Adriel Hart said.

Most job listings are in sales, clerical and retail, like the 50 food service people who will be hired at a new family restaurant in White Plains, which is now under construction.

The manager said he's got four applicants for every position and many have lowered their expectations.

"We definitely have some people who are looking for new careers, people who had previously been in some administrative positions working around White Plains, working for larger businesses, fortune 500 companies and, really, they're just looking for anything at this point, something that'll give them a full-time position," Charlie Amshir said.

Analysts said health care, business services and transportation are strong locally, but manufacturing and construction continue to struggle -- just like the job-seekers who find their skill sets in light demand.

"If it's not temp agencies, it's a lot of sales and marketing out there, which I don't do. So, there's a lot of that on the board. I'm looking for administrative," said Angela Green of Port Chester.

"There are restaurant jobs, clerical jobs, but nothing that fits what I'm looking for," added Charles Morgan of White Plains.

Three years ago we watched small businesses fold under the weight of recession. Now, many of the once-vacant storefronts are filling with new businesses -- a deli here and computer repair store there. It's not great, but better than it was.

The Department of Labor said it's seeing growth in health care, and business services, but job supply there is still far outpacing demand.

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