Jem Restaurant Management Corporation held a job fair at a KFC in West Central Fresno, hoping to hire employees for several of its 25 Fresno area locations. "It's kind of hard right now. I guess because of the economy. It's really hard to find a job right now," said Demariess Wright of Fresno.
John Grimaldo of Fresno attended the job fair in hopes of finding a second job to supplement his income. "It just hit me. I need to make ends meet and come up with some more cash," said Grimaldo.
The job fair comes as Fresno County's unemployment rate sits at 13.9 percent. That's about a two percent improvement from where Fresno was last year at this time. While that's a positive sign, Steven Gutierrez with California's Employment Development Department told Action News hiring usually slows down this time of the year, making any job that much more important. "Any opportunity that an individual can get their hands on, if they can hold on to that, they have more market value when they're working than when they're not working," said Gutierrez.
A just-released survey from Fresno State's Craig School of Business shows a somber outlook for the upcoming year as well, predicting job losses in non-durable goods and negative job growth in the next three to six months. Right now, retail and hospitality/food service jobs are a few of the sectors seeing some improvement. "People think that quick service or hospitality is a dead end job. It's not. If you work hard and you work yourself up, our restaurant managers make more a starting school teacher makes," said Kris Stuebner with Jem Restaurant Management.
By the end of the day, about 30 people had been offered a job.