Hundreds turned out at a recent career fair at the Los Angeles Mission, a charity that serves the poor and homeless in the run down section of the city called Skid Row.
Some recently lost their jobs, including Ethiopia Immigrant Becky Woude:
“Family ... Anything, I can do anything but, because I have to work. I have to pay my bills. And I need money.”
Getting by is not easy without full time work, says job seeker Anthony Alexander:
“I’ve been not found day, day jobs, a week here, a week there, something like that. But as far as full time employment, no. And I want full time employment.”
The U.S jobless rate remains stubbornly high. Only 69,000 jobs were created in May, the fewest in the year.
Yet some companies are hiring. Says Los Angeles Mission President Herb Smith:
“We are here to try to help give them entrance-level’s job. And hopefully there are main stream employers. This year we have more employers that actually have jobs as opposed to just taking Resumes. That, that indicates a little bit return now.”
One employer who was hiring, John Murga of Fresco Community Market has found one third of his staffs among the unemployed and homeless who have undergone skills training at the LA Mission.
He says that even with today’s poor economic climate, his business is good and he wants to expand.
“Yes, there are companies that are still hiring. I think that it takes a lot of courage, a lot of strength and tenacity in today’s market to do so. But I think you create your own future.”
One man, who found a job at the Community Market Ivan Perez, says many on Skid Row just need a chance.
“There are a lot of people down there that got a lot of skills. But they have not been given the opportunity or chance to, to shine.”
But the job market is still tight. Employer John Murga will screen hundreds of applications for the few workers he needs. And people still out of work are facing tough competitions in the shrinking job market.