Jobless rates inch up in the Bay Area

In this May 21, 2010 photo, job postings are displayed at a job placement center in Fremont, Calif. The tally of laid-off workers continuing to claim jobless benefits fell by the largest amount in almost a year, suggesting that more unemployed workers may be finding work.(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

August 20, 2010 7:01:36 PM PDT
California's unemployment rate remained at 12.3 percent for last month. The state Employment Development Department says the state lost more than 9,000 jobs in July -- most of those were temporary jobs with the U.S. Census.

California has the third highest unemployment rate in the nation and hiring managers say they are seeing desperation on the faces of job applicants.

"You see a lot of negative faces, people who have kind of given up. They come in to interview, and you kind of see when they first start the interview, they're just not all there," human resources manager Mark Lipscomb said.

Recruiters see the desperation from people being out of work for a year or longer and the situation is not getting any better.

Santa Clara County's jobless rate rose a notch to 11.5 percent in July, up from 11.4 percent in June. While one-tenth of one percent may seem insignificant, it represents a loss of 4,800 jobs.

So instead of a job fair, Trinity Cathedral, the interfaith community group "PACT" and the city of San Jose organized a panel discussion and resource fair to help people get jobs.

"In these emerging technology sectors, a lot of people just don't know how to search for jobs in that area, and so the value of having this kind of panel and resource is really to get people comfortable in applying for these new jobs that are available," San Jose Council Member Ash Kalra said.

Recruiters and career coaches lamented that there are so many job seekers and their desks are flooded with resumes.

"Literally there are piles, and they don't know how to sift through that. They just don't know how to take out the best," career coach Mahmood Khan said.

More than half the 50 job seekers here said they were in career transition. They needed to find jobs in new fields and get the necessary skills or training.

But they know now to be positive, despite the odds of getting turned down.

While this wasn't billed as a job fair, one employer, SunPower, indicated it has 80 job openings with another 100 coming online next year. But even that number won't do a lot to move the unemployment rate needle.

ABC7 and the California Job Journal are hosting another job fair that includes a special section for healthcare workers. It's happening on Aug. 31 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Emeryville.