SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego job seekers are facing two major obstacles when it comes to finding a new position.
A new report from the University of San Diego says more people are filing unemployment insurance claims while the number of job ads is declining. That means there's more competition for fewer jobs, even as the county's unemployment rate remains below 5 percent.
"It's expensive to make things here," said USD economist Alan Gin. "That's affecting us in terms of companies moving out of the area. Also, automation is having an impact."
Raman Freow has been unemployed for more than a month after work dried up at the shipyards.
"Nerve-wracking," he said. "You don't know whether you're going to get a phone call for an interview [or] if you're going to get the job."
Gabriel Pedroza is just starting his job search. Coca-Cola just laid him off after 21 years, as his job is being replaced by a machine.
"It's going to be harder because I'm over 40 now," he said.
There are, however, ways to get ahead. One is to retrain for skills in demand. For example, the San Diego Workforce Partnership is launching a program called Tech Hire, which can help place people with IT skills into new jobs.
Many job centers in San Diego have free classes on how to find hidden jobs and how to negotiate for a higher salary. Click here for a calendar to all of the current sessions
The South Metro Career Center says the top jobs that are recession-proof include those in education, energy, health care, international business, environment and security.
Additionally, some of the fastest-growing jobs for high school graduates include home health aides, dental assistants, compliance officers, pharmacy technicians and compliance officers.