The competition for jobs is growing as a result of large-scale layoffs recently at Solyndra and Cisco, so a city-sponsored job fair at the convention center drew a larger-than-expected 3,000 people.
It's an uphill battle to get all the jobless back to work. The City of San Jose was able to attract 110 employers and temp agencies with an estimated 1,000 openings.
For job seekers, it's important to exude confidence, but some of them -- especially recent college graduates -- say they understand the frustration they've seen play out with Occupy San Francisco and Occupy Wall Street.
"Of course I'm upset," said recent college graduate Dui Pham. "We go to school for a reason, and when you come out you don'treally get a job right away, but there's nothing you can do about it."
Employers urge job seekers to consider career changes.
Darren Hickey is the human resources director for Bauer's Intelligent Transportation, which runs a fleet of commuter and charter vehicles.
"It may be a transition time for them as well, going from one particular area or field of expertiese and maybe migrating or heading towards another direction," Hickey said.
Hayward resident Luis Alberto Paez was disappointed by the lack of full-time jobs.
"Everything I've been getting lately is contract work," he said. "Two weeks, two months, three months -- but that's it. Nobody's committing to a full-time position."
Some recruiters attracted long lines of applicants. Others didn't, but it was clear there is a lot of competition for job openings.
A recruiter from Federal Express was one of the many people looking to hire, with FedEx seeking to fill 20 to 40 drivers' positions for the busy holiday period. FedEx though wanted to hireh experienced commercial drivers, and they didn't see many of those today.
At the San Jose job fair, the ratio of people to jobs was almost three-to-one, so standing out was important.