Jefferson City job fair attracts wide variety of employees

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City News Tribune and the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce hosted their 11th annual job fair at Capital Mall in Jefferson City Thursday.

There were 35 job vendors in attendance from all over mid-Missouri looking for employees. The fair hosted ore than 200 people, including some out-of-staters.

"We see them from the surrounding counties, we also see them from out of state, Jefferson City, Columbia, and Boone County," said Jane Haslag, Advertising Director for the Jefferson City News Tribune. "I even met someone today from Minnesota who was looking for work after moving back home."

Shaun Sappenfield, the existing business manager from the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce said a majority of jobs that are in demand right now consist of entry level and some lower-level management positions in the manufacturing, retail, and service sectors.

However, Sappenfield said, of the job seekers he spoke with Thursday, most were already employed.

"Another thing that I have seen visiting with some of the vendors is that people that are already employed and I think they feel they are under employed and are looking for new opportunities," Sappenfield said.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in February of 2015 the unemployment rate in Missouri fell to 5.5 percent, down from its peak at 9.8 percent in December of 2009.

Sappenfield said that since the unemployment rate in Missouri is down, that it is putting pressure on employers to offer competitive wages.

One Jefferson City resident, Michael Williams, said this was the first job fair he has ever been to and he already has three interviews lined up for next week.

"The job fair has been helpful to me because it has been more of a personal feel," Williams said. "You get real in-depth ideas about what that position really entails."

The next job fair is scheduled to be in September.