Career fair draws 1,600 job seekers



More than 1,500 job seekers filed into Augusta State University's Christenberry Fieldhouse on Thursday afternoon.

Trevor Huggins, 23, handed out résumés in hopes of landing a full-time gig.

"I've got an interview with an insurance company and I've handed out a few résumés," he said. "I just graduated from Mercer in Macon and moved back here so now I'm just looking for a job."

Huggins graduated in May and is looking for a career within his field of study.

"My degree is in sales management and communications so somewhere along the lines of management or sales," he said.

Despite adding jobs in May, the addition of 1,000 people in the Augusta area looking for work increased the unemployment rate from 8.4 percent in April to 8.6 percent last month.

Columbia County has a jobless rate of 7 percent, one of the lowest in Georgia.

Like many other jobless Augusta residents, Huggins has had a difficult time trying to find full-time employment.

"Looking for a job is a little harder than I thought it'd be," Huggins said. "Times are a little tougher but everything's going all right ... it's not too bad."

More than 60 potential employers attended the event, including Aflac, AT&T, Scana and Spherion. About 1,600 people attended, organizers said.

Hayley Anderson, 25, is trying to go back to school after holding several part-time jobs.

"I'm looking to find a job so that I can pay off my loans from when I was in school a few years ago," Anderson said. "But now that I'm trying to go back to school, I'd like to find a job to pay for that as well."

Unemployment rate

May 2010 April 2010 May 2009

Augusta Metro 8.6 8.4 9.0

Georgia 9.9 9.7 9.2

South Carolina 11.0 11.5 11.7

By county

Burke 10.9 9.8 10.4

Columbia 7.0 6.5 6.6

McDuffie 9.8 9.8 10.3

Richmond 10.3 9.4 9.3

Aiken 7.4 8.2 9.8

Edgefield 8.1 8.9 10.5

Not seasonally adjusted.