Job Fair Attracts Hundreds - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Job Fair Attracts Hundreds

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) If you are one of the more than 200 thousand Tennesseans looking for a job or 28-thousand seeking unemployment benefits statewide the news is not great.

Officials with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development say the latest unemployment rating for Tennessee is now at 7. 4 percent, slightly up from numbers in July. Hundreds looking for a job opportunity lined up at a job fair with their resumes in hand, Tuesday.  Some mothers tell Channel 3 Eyewitness News the fair is their last hope.

"Very frustrating it seems like a lot of doors just close on you," said Matrice Surles. "There is just not a lot of jobs out there, it's hard."

Single mother Matrice Surles says finding a job means putting food on the table for her three children.

"I can imagine sleeping in my van, I mean it's tough because my bills don't stop coming in. It's rough."

She like hundreds of others at the Urban League of Chattanooga Fall Job Fair say they've been searching for a job opportunity for months. Some say even years without luck.

"There's a lot of people looking for jobs, a lot of people who have been out of work for a long time," said Rosie Russell, Urban League of Chattanooga Workforce Development Specialist. "There's a lot of displaced employees out there as well."

Officials with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce say out of the 161 thousand able to work in the Hamilton County workforce, more than 11,900 are unemployed.

"It's so many people what's the chance... finding a good job is like hitting the lottery," said Surles.

The fair hosted more than 30 local employers including Walmart, Erlanger and T-Mobile.

"I wasn't expecting so many people to be here I thought it was going to be a lot smaller but I see it's a lot of competition," said job seeker Lawrence McAdoo.

Despite the large crowds job seekers say what's most frustrating is that now-a-days employers typically refer each applicant to submit their resume online.

"It's a bummer because you sit down you do the time to put it together a resume to turn in and feel like you are a step above the others who don't have it," said McAdoo.

"Hopefully something will come out of this," said Surles.

Organizers say they hope the employers will be able to offer more than 150 positions. Last spring the job fair resulted in 30 hires. A quick look at unemployment numbers across our region show.

Rhea County with the highest unemployment rating at 9.3 percent, followed by Bledsoe and Marion Counties at 8.9 percent.

Hamilton County's unemployment numbers decreased in August to 7. 4 percent. Bradley County also decreased to 7.0

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