Business Owner: "We're always hiring." - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Business Owner: "We're always hiring."

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- New numbers out Friday show the unemployment rate is now at its lowest point in nearly three years: 8.3 percent.

And though that means many are still out of work, some area employers are looking for workers just as hard as those needing a paycheck are searching for a job.

Even in these tough economic times, good help can be hard to find.

"We're always hiring," Dimitris Agrafiotis says. "We've been here for 20 years and we never take the sign down."

Portofino's in East Ridge receives about 30 applications for one job opening. Half of those are incomplete and thrown out.

Some applicants are over-qualified, but most aren't willing to work the hours needed.

"Look, I guess you have to look," Angelina Gonzalez says. "Just search."

Angelina Gonzalez is Portofino's newest hire.

After several interviews she jumped at the chance to pay her bills.

New numbers out Friday, show there are jobs to be had.

The national unemployment rate is at its lowest point in three years, 8.3 percent, a point higher than Hamilton County's current rate.

Welcomed news, but lawmakers say there's still work to be done.

"I hope we never get accustomed to the idea that 8.3 percent, or 8 percent, or 7.8 percent is an acceptable number of people out of work in our country," Senator Lamar Alexander tells Channel 3.

"Tax reform, entitlement reform, and long term deficit reduction," Senator Bob Corker tells Channel 3. "I really do believe if Congress and Washington could get its act together and deal with those, I really think things would take off."

While Washington works out their differences, Angelina Gonzalez counts her tips.

"There are jobs out there, we just can't find people to fill them," Agrafiotis says.

Over the past year, employment in the six-county Chattanooga metro area grew by 1,500 jobs.

The news is not as good in North Georgia.

Dalton suffered the third worst employment drop in the country last year, according to government figures released this week.

Dalton lost 3,200 jobs in 2011, cutting its employment by nearly 5 percent.

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