News 12 at 6 o'clock, November 20, 2008
AUGUSTA, Ga.---Georgia's 7 percent unemployment rate is the highest it's been in 16 years. The fallout is being felt right here in Augusta. Hundreds streamed into a job fair hosted by the Georgia Department of Labor at the local University of Phoenix campus.
Meet Heather and Margaret. Heather is 23, and she's looking for her first job. Margaret, well, she's not 23. But they each have the same question.
"Are you hiring?" questioned Heather. "Yes," responded a local employer. "We are currently hiring."
That's encouraging news for Margaret, who's spending a lot of time at job fairs these days.
"Oh my, goodness," said Margaret. "I've been looking for quite some time."
She has been searching for a job for more than a year. So how's the playing field?
"To be honest," said Margaret. "It's looking kinda bleak."
Margaret is prowling for accounting and finance related positions in the face of a stressed economy.
"But we should be optimistic," said Margaret. "That's what they tell us."
"They've got a lot of options," said Heather. "It's not just one kind of job that you're looking for. You can apply for everything."
Century 21 was out looking for real estate agents even with the state of the housing market.
The sheriff's office was out looking for a few good deputies. They are just a few of more than 40 employers who packed into 3 rooms.
"I'm glad," said Heather. "Some of them are directly hiring, some of them are on-line hiring, and some are taking your resume today."
"They're telling me to check at their corporate office," said Margaret. "But I'm looking locally hopefully."
The other more than 700 people who stopped by were also looking locally.
"I say my future's looking really great right now," said Heather.
"Yeah," said Margaret jokingly. "I wish it was me. No I'm playing."
45 employers attended the fair including ADP, H&R Block, Sun trust and T-Mobile. The department of labor's next career fair will most likely take place in late February or early March. The department says they try to host job fairs on a quarterly basis.