National City’s 3rd annual career fair attracts many
When the National City job fair started three years ago, only about 30 employers attended. This year, 60 employers set up shop, an indicator that more companies – from retail to tech- are looking to hire. A single-file line wrapped around the building for the 3rd annual “Career Pathway to Success” job fair.
“I've been an Amazon book-seller for about 8 years, and a lot of things are conspiring together to make it very difficult to do that anymore,” said job applicant John Kenny. “So have to get back in the job market.”
Over 60 employers took part, looking to fill nearly 650 San Diego area jobs.
“I'm surprised not by the talent, but my the volume of talent,” said general manager Steven Hill of Coastal Front Properties. “When they opened doors right at 10 (AM), there was a line out as they came in. People are hungry, talented, polished, and it was very positively surprising.”
The Chamber of Commerce hopes its proactive approach will help combat the city's high unemployment rate. National City has one of San Diego County's highest unemployment numbers, reaching over 16% during 2013, but that number is improving.
“It has come down,” said Jacqueline Reynoso of the National City Chamber of Commerce. “We'd like to think we're a part of that solution but it was about 18% two years ago. So it has gone down, and I think that's an overall indicator that the economy is bouncing back.”
And according to the latest jobs numbers, the U.S. job market picked up more than expected in February. The Department of Labor Statistics shows the U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in February – a huge jump from the month before. And California has helped slightly, with it's steadily improving employment numbers. As far as predictions of a slow and steady job market go, job seekers like John Kenny say they aren't listening to the conflicting theories.
“Ya know, one side says the economy's booming, the other side says 'what do I do?' I'm in kind of the 'what do I do' mode, so I have to have faith that my skills are going to get me through in the long run.”
The predictions are that San Diego area employment numbers are also expected to be up, but we won't know for sure until metropolitan area numbers are released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on April 9th.