ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – One of the state’s largest job fairs returned to Albuquerque on Wednesday. At a time when many companies are complaining, they cannot find workers. Although New Mexico has the worst unemployment rate in the county.
The number of people attending the career fair was solid but did not match the attendance in previous years. “A wide variety of positions are available, all shifts,” says Julie Sebelin, director of human resources, Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel.
Hundreds of job seekers gathered in the gymnasium at Harrison Middle School in the South Valley. “I have been unemployed for a minute, so I have to go back to work,” says job seeker Sarahffina Macias.
With the hope of starting a new career. “I was made redundant because of the pandemic and it was very difficult to find a job. I have a temporary position at the moment but it will end at the beginning of August ”, explains Gabrela Barillas, job seeker.
State Senator Michael Padilla held his 9th annual career fair on Wednesday, hosting 92 companies, seeking to fill more than 4,600 jobs. “In the past, I had to slam doors to get employers to come to my career fair. This year, they were stalking me to achieve it, ”said Senator Padilla.
Senator Padilla says about 3,000 people attended the four-hour event. This is down from the 5,500 that showed up two years ago. Employers say hiring people has been a challenge coming out of the pandemic. “I think some of the money they still get from unemployment is really hurting us as a state,” said Crystal Gallegos, Managing Director of Rain Tunnel Car Spa.
While the government’s pandemic benefits continue for another month and a half. Some job seekers say that not everyone shuns work. “There are a lot of people like me for example, we got the benefits and at the same time we’re not going to rely on them for the long term, we really want to get back to work,” says Barillas.
Senator Padilla said of the 92 companies present, a third were restaurants. Earlier this month, the state launched a back-to-work incentive for unemployed people. The incentive is $ 600 right now, then $ 400 next week, the last week of the offer.