CHARLOTTE -- Unemployment is still a major issue across the state, despite a recent report that in November, 74 of the state's 100 counties saw a decrease in unemployment. Monday, hundreds of job seekers filed into the Harris Conference Center in west Charlotte for Congresswoman Sue Myrick's area job fair, hoping to hand out resumes and get their foot in the door at local companies.
"I've been nonstop working, and when I got laid off, I didn't know what to do. I was lost," said Amber Miller, a 23-year-old job fair attendee.
Miller arrived early to the job fair, and says times are tough on the employment front.
"Yeah, I have probably put in in the past couple weeks 45 to 50 job applications, and I have heard one response so far,” said Miller.
With unemployment still a problem, coupled with a tough economy, Myrick says this job fair is a great opportunity.
"This is exciting to me because it's not just a job fair to come and see what might be in the future, it's a job fair where there are jobs available, and it's across the spectrum,” she said.
The Employment Security Commission in Charlotte reports that when unemployment is up, companies have less of a need to use job fairs to find workers and fewer attend. But they say the events do attract more job seekers than normal.
"Having that local presence, people are seeing that jobs are out there, that there's hope," said Lindsay Monroe, who worked a booth at the fair for Ingersoll Rand. "The economy may be turning and they have an opportunity to throw their name in the hat.”
Myrick says they're targeting anyone who needs a job, from veterans to young adults. She says it's important for her to put on an event such as this for her constituents.
"Our biggest concern is we aren't creating jobs, and there are a lot of us who feel that we could have different policies that would be more open to job creation and are trying to do that through Congress. So this is a real good opportunity for us to say to the community, 'hey, here's what's available,'” said Myrick.
And for those passing out resumes and filling out applications, they say they're grateful.
"That says a lot. That says that they care, that they don't like people being without jobs, and that shows support on their end. And instead of us supporting them, that shows them supporting us,” said Miller.
This is the second job fair Myrick has hosted at the Harris Conference Center. The last one was in the fall, and she hopes to continue to have them every six months. On average, about 450 to 500 job seekers attend the event.