CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - There is some good news on the job front as the US unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in more than two and a half years.
According to the United States Labor Department, the rate dropped sharply to 8.6 percent from 9 percent in October. That is the lowest rate since March of 2009.
The Heartland does not necessarily follow the national trend.
Friday was another busy day at the Missouri Career Center in Cape Girardeau as people poured in looking for jobs.
"For every person that comes in that got hired, we've got 20 to 30 more that come in saying I just got laid off," said Robin Strop from the Career Center.
"It's been five months since my last job," said Wilma Vaughn.
Vaughn is among many racing to fill out applications through a group called Excel Temporary Service.
"It can be anywhere from a temporary position to a 90-day temp to hire," said Joshua Gentry-Office Manager, Excel Temp Service.
Gentry said if the employee fights hard enough, a job through his agency could turn permanent.
"There are jobs out there for people willing to work, it may not be perfect but there are jobs out there," said Gentry.
While there might be work, there is a catch.
"The competition is unreal," said Robin Strop.
There are so many applicants going after one position.
"We have a lot of unemployed people still looking for work," said Strop.
Strop said the Career Center sees about 2,500 people a month...people like Wilma Vaughn.
Vaughn is a mother hoping to land a job in time for the holidays.
"It is stressful, " said Vaughn.
Even with the good news of unemployment rates dropping, more than 13-million Americans remain without work.
Experts say even with recent gains, the economy isn't anywhere close to replacing jobs lost in the recession.