"I've had a side job here and there to help pay the bills, but I've had to move in with my daughter," said Jeff Dickerson.

Dickerson lives in Dalton, where the unemployment rate is 9.1 percent. He lost his construction job three months ago.

"We were framing houses for a living, and the economy fell through on us," he said.

Those three months have now passed with no luck on finding new work.

"Jobs around here are scarce," Dickerson said. "They're hard to come by."

Most folks who were at Dalton's Career Center Thursday probably would have said the same thing. Hundreds of hopeful job seekers were dropping off resumes Thursday.

"They were here before 8 a.m., wrapped around the building," said Wendy Jaynes, a job recruiter at Beaulieu America. The carpet manufacturer is looking to fill 150 jobs across the region.

"We're filling across the board," said Jaynes. "We've had people that have been looking for a while; people that just want to make a change."

And change is what Garrett Smith wants.

"I work at McDonald's making minimum wage, and it's not necessarily cutting it," Smith said.

He's thankful for his fast food job, but trying to support a family on $7.25/hour isn't making ends meet, he said.

"It's hard," Smith said. "I'm working 40 hours a week and not making much on my paychecks."

But for others, like Dickerson, a paycheck is the only thing he's looking for.

"It would be great," said Dickerson. "I'd be able to get back on my feet."

Between Thursday's job fair and online submissions, Jaynes said roughly 1,000 people applied for the 150 open positions.

To apply, visit