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      Holiday workers seek more permanent employment

      National unemployment benefits applications have increased from 375,000 to 399,000 in the last six weeks, and the U.S. Labor Department believes that is largely in part to businesses laying off their holiday help.

      Amarillo's unemployment rate of 5.1 percent is one of the lowest in the state, with only Midland's 4.1 percent beating it. Texas' unemployment rate is 7.5 percent, while the nation currently sits at 8.6 percent.

      Workforce Solutions Panhandle is a local business matching job seekers with employers' postings. The company sees an average of 240 people per day. This past Monday, about 400 people walked through the doors in hopes of finding a job.

      Along with online resumes and postings, Workforce Solutions Panhandle offers its clients advice on how to properly search for a job and how to prepare for a successful interview.

      "One of the very first things is they need to do an assessment of their skills abilities," Operations Manager Marin Rivas said. "That way, they're better prepared to put together a package when they're going out and selling themselves to a potential employer."

      Many of the people going through this business do not have a college education, and that is something Rivas recommends everyone get.

      "Education and training is always a plus," he said. "It opens up more opportunities for those that have training and/or education to find employment, so it's very, very important."

      While some people post their resumes through employment agencies, others take a more casual approach. The email blasts sent out daily by Welcome Pardner! often include personal resumes, and businesses sometimes use the emails to make people aware of job openings.

      "We've had people who have gotten back in touch with each other," Welcome Pardner! Owner DJ Stubben said. "They've been able to help each other on other projects, as well as getting wonderful, lucrative jobs."

      Stubben will include anyone's resume in the emails for free.