South Florida's job market is still shaky with economists looking at Friday's jobs report to see if the region is still experiencing a wobbly economic rebound from the Great Recession.
Broward's unemployment rate rose last month to 8.1 percent from a revised 7.8 percent in June. Palm Beach County surpasses that with a 9.8 percent unemployment rate.
But Dina Louis of Fort Lauderdale doesn' need numbers or jobs reports to know how hard it is to find a job. She graduated with a degree in nursing from Keiser University in December 2010, and hasn't been able to find work since.
"You can listen to advice and do everything right and get interviews, but never get hired," she said.
When the woman working the booth heard Louis had been out of work since December 2010, she sort of clammed up, Louis said.
"People think there’s something wrong with me because I haven’t found a job," she said, "and that makes it even harder."
Florida's unemployment rate has stubbornly stayed above the national average, jumping to 8.8 percent in July, the first increase in a year. The national unemployment average was 8.1 percent in August.
Friday, the state's and the two counties' latest unemployment will be released.
"The situation is better in Florida than other parts of the nation -- we are in better shape than some states," with job growth strengthening last year in the Sunshine State, said Jorge Salazar-Carrillo, an economics professor who directs the Center of Economic Research at Florida International University.
But he said South Florida and the rest of the state "are probably hitting a rough patch," that started in the spring.
"Job creation is kind of slackening," Salazar-Carrillo said.
International trade and tourism had been helping South Florida but even those sectors are weakening, he added.
Groups are trying to help the South Florida’s unemployed by holding free job fairs.
The Job News USA job fair will be Wednesday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the West Palm Beach Marriott, at 1001 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. About 30 employers are scheduled to attend.
Then a week later, a free job fair for veterans and military spouses will be Sept. 25, at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, 650 Okeechobee Blvd., in West Palm Beach.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is hosting the "Hiring Our Heroes" event from 9 a.m. to noon. The event is part of a Chamber goal to hire 500,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2014.
Meanwhile, the Fort Lauderdale-based nonprofit Covenant House announced Monday it is partnering with Accenture, a consulting and technology services company, to help homeless young people with a six-week career building program.
The pilot program will offer classes that equip teens and young adults housed at the Covenant House shelter with a variety of career and life skills, including career management, critical thinking and interview skills. The classes began Saturday and will go through Oct. 20.
Sun Sentinel writer Cindy Kent contributed to this report.
dgehrke@tribune or Twitter @donnagehrke