Grocery store hires hundreds of people

March 5, 2009 6:33:15 PM PST
New unemployment figures out Thursday night show the Bay Area continues to be slightly better off than California as a whole, where the jobless rate is more than 10-percent.

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From Marin to the peninsula, the unemployment rate is 7. 5-percent, in the East Bay, it's 9.2-percent, and in the South Bay, it's 9.4-percent. Still, hundreds of new jobs that have just been filled in Pittsburg.

Pittsburg resident Daniel Nungaray has a job? finally.

The newly-hired grocery clerk describes what it was like before, as one of more than 4,000 people trying to find work in Pittsburg, where the unemployment rate topped 14-percent in January.

"It's stressful. It's headaches, can't sleep, can't eat because bills never stop," said Daniel Nungaray, a grocery clerk.

Those days are over, now that Nungaray was hired to work in the new Mi Pueblo Food Center -- a grocery store set to open in Pittsburg in just nine days.

The Bay Area-based chain is one of the few businesses moving in to East Contra Costa when so many others have pulled out.

"It's a good business. People have to eat to survive and when you can't afford the restaurants, that's where we come into play. We try to get our prices low enough where we can accommodate the community, where they can come in and support us, as well as we supporting them," said Elijah Walker, Mi Pueblo Foods.

Mi Pueblo hired 245 new employees for this store. That's out of the 3,600 who applied.

Jose Glaz was out of work for six months, before Mi Pueblo came to town.

"Everybody's talking about Mi Pueblo. It kind of gives everyone a little bit of hope," said Jose Glaz, a grocery store clerk.

Jesus Duran is outside, still searching for that elusive job.

"It's really bad. I used to do construction, but it's really bad so I'm looking for something different right now," said Duran, unemployed.

Here Duran heard a familiar line. Mi Pueblo is accepting applications, but right now, there are no openings.

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