Small Crowd At Job Fair

A large job fair at Reliant Center drew lots of job seekers, but not nearly as many as it has in recent years. What does that tell us about the economy?

Houston resident Jessica Scott is wasting no time getting her name out to potential employers.

“I just graduated Tuesday, so I’m over here looking for medical jobs.”

She just graduated from a medical training school and her advisors told her she should go to the Houston Chronicle Job Fair at Reliant Park.

Jeff Weidle of Friendswood is more of a computer guy, but he says he didn’t really find many jobs that interested him at the job fair.

“I did put in one resume for an insurance company.”

Some people attending the job fair said they were already employed and were looking for something better. Others told me they were out of work. Shawn Hancock was unemployed for over a year.

“It’s really tough out there. Watching the news and interacting with people in other companies, everybody’s feeling the crunch. It’s not just an exaggerated media thing. It’s real.”

AFLAC, the insurance company didn’t have a line of people waiting to fill out resumes or talk with the representatives but company representative  Mike Stewart says they have plenty of positions to fill. Here’s what he said about the job fair and the local economy.

“Most of the  people that come up  we’re asking them what type of position they’re looking for and they say I just need a job. Cause the economy is bad, jobs are slowing down, but now with AFLAC. We’re looking for people.”

Eugene Rudolph a representative of Pentair Energy said he was also finding it hard to get good applicants.

“You know. you follow the news and the news is quite depressing to listen to. You know the jobless rate is very high. However in certain disciplines for example the oil and gas industry piping engineers it’s a hot market or at least it is in Houston so we’ve been having difficulty getting candidates to apply online and we’ve posted job openings on job boards.”

Perhaps the lack of applicants is a sign the Houston job market has improved. Jeff Weidle thinks so.

“I think the market is actually pretty good right now. You just have to be proactive and go out and you can’t sit and apply all day at home. If you want it, you gotta go after some jobs.”

One of the representatives told me at this very same job fair two years ago, there was a line going out the door of people waiting to get in. This time around with no lines, that would seem to indicate things have improved. However as you just heard, there are still a lot of people hurting.