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Job fair draws small crowd
Nearly 2 dozen employers participate
Gainesville State College sophomore Ananis Perez, an early childhood education major, talks with ETCON Employment Solutions operations manager Tonya Dailey Tuesday during a job fair at the college’s student center in Oakwood. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

From students looking for holiday jobs to older adults seeking full-time employment, Gainesville State College's job fair brought out a crowd Tuesday.

"My parents give me a pass when school is in, so I don't have to work during the school year," said Kara Foster, an Oakwood resident. "But they make me get a job over the holidays and breaks, so this is good timing."

Whenever there is enough employer interest, the college hosts a job fair in the fall and again in the spring, said Debbie Pierce, college counseling and career services office coordinator.

Organizations such as the Hall County Sheriff's Office and Gainesville-based ETCON Employment Solutions, were among the nearly two dozen employer participants.

To participate in the school's fair, businesses had to have positions available, whether seasonal, part time or full time.

"Sometimes you go to these things and folks are just collecting applications, but they don't have any jobs," said Debby Myer, a Flowery Branch resident."That gets discouraging."

At least locally, unemployment have declined a bit.

In September, the most recent month available, the unemployment rate for Hall County was about 8.8 percent, compared to the state average of 10 percent. September's figures were an improvement over August, when the local unemployment rate was about 9.2 percent.

Nationally, officials are reporting other signs of economic improvement.

The manufacturing industry is showing signs of increased production, which could spur growth in other areas of the economy, the Federal Reserve reports.

Extended mass layoffs have decreased nationwide since last year, according to theU.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Mass layoffs are events that leave workers unemployed for at least 31 days.

For instance, from July through September, there were about 1,200 mass layoffs nationwide, which left about 180,000 workers without jobs. For the same time period in 2009, there were more than 2,000 mass layoffs, which left more than 340,000 workers unemployed.