If you believe the Labor Department's latest job report, it shows the unemployment rate has dropped to a four year low of 7.6 percent in March. While that sounds like great news, people like Nikema Silas are struggling.
"It's been very hard and you know. I've been going online. I've been going out to places, you know, giving my resume to employers. It's been very hard," she says.
Silas has a Bachelor's Degree in Biology and spent several years trying to get her foot in the door. Her frustration grows with every rejection letter.
"I'm never going to give up because I have two daughters that depend on me, so that's not an option."
It seems many Americans are so discouraged, their only option is to just give up. Even with unemployment numbers down, Tennessee State Rep. Antonio Parkinson (D-District 98) says the numbers are also slightly deceiving. Rep. Parkinson says the jobless rate fell, but the number is also lower after more and more people just stopped looking for jobs.
"We know that in Shelby County, regardless of what the numbers are that come out of Washington, in Shelby County the unemployment rate is above that of the national average," he said.
Rep. Parkinson adds the job market is so competitive presently that gainful employment means everything from getting your GED, college degree, a trade, sprucing up your resume, even something as simple as understanding the importance of proper attire.
"Make this employer understand and have that passion about yourself, so that passion is transferred to this employer and he understands that we cannot do this without you," Rep. Parkinson said. "We have to have you on board with our company, because we know that you're going to help make our company a better company."
It's this kind of opportunity Silas says she is waiting for, believing as one door closes, another will eventually open.
"I don't feel like I have to make $25 an hour. I just want to get my foot in the door and work my way up," she said.
A job fair will be held from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, in Raleigh at the Raleigh United Methodist Church in the 3200 block of Coleman. There will be 30 employers ready to take applications and possibly hire people on the spot. Make sure you bring several resumes and dress to impress. For more information you can call 901-387-1825.