People are already lined up at the BJCC to get into the job fair, which starts at 10 a.m. (Source: Clare Huddleston)
People started lining up for the job fair three hours before the doors opened. The job fair will be in the East Exhibition Hall of the BJCC. (Source: Clare Huddleston)
An estimated 5,000 people showed up for the job fair this morning, Rep. Terri Sewell's office said. (Source: Clare Huddleston)
The line outside the BJCC as of 11 a.m. There may be as many as 8,000 people waiting to get inside. (Source: Clare Huddleston)
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -
Thousands of job seekers showed up for a job fair today in downtown Birmingham. The job fair is being held today from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex.
Two hours before the job fair kicked off, the line of people waiting to get inside had already wrapped around the building. People started lining up three hours before the doors opened.
Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL) is hosting the job fair. Her office estimates around 5,000 people were present when the doors opened at 10 a.m. The BJCC is only allowing 1,000 people to enter the fair at a time due to fire codes.
Although the job fair is scheduled to end today at 3 p.m., Sewell said it may be extended if people are still in line and if employers are willing to stay.
More than 100 employers from various job sectors are participating in the fair, according to a release from Sewell's office.
Sewell said one of the prerequisites for the employers is that the companies must have open positions and must be currently hiring.
Some of the people exiting the job fair expressed disappointment that some employers were only accepting online applications. Others said it was worth the wait for the chance to meet with employers who are hiring.
Rep. Sewell says the unemployment rate in her district is 18.8 percent and the national average is 8.3 percent. She said she believes those rates are not based on an unwillingness to work, but rather a supply and demand issue.
"Unemployment that we see is not because people don't want to work. The unemployment that we see is because people don't have opportunity, so I think it's a supply and demand problem, that the demand is great for those who want to work and we just have so few jobs chasing lots and lots of people," Sewell said.
The job fair is in the East Exhibition Hall of the BJCC, located at 2100 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. North in Birmingham.