RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Hundreds gathered at the Science Museum today for the Richmond Diversity Job Fair. They are among thousands in Virginia and nationwide looking for the same thing: steady employment. But things may be looking up for job seekers.
They came by the hundreds bearing resumes and firm handshakes. The crowded job fair, a sign of the continuing struggles of the unemployed.
"We've handed out over 200 applications. We're actually trying to get more, because we're almost out of applications," said Connie Crowl with King's Dominion.
One of those applications went to Rachel Sims. She's been out of work for several months.
"You're at home, you go online and look for jobs with thousands of other people that are looking at the same jobs," said Sims.
That's been the reality for those looking for work. Some good news came earlier this month-- April was a big month for hiring. But even as the number of available jobs is increasing, the competition for those jobs is heating up.
The numbers show that 290,000 jobs were added nationwide in April. At the same time, unemployment went up to 9.9%. It had held steady at 9.7% for the first three months of 2010. Part of the reason for the spike: a jump in the number of people renewing their search for work after giving up. But giving up was never an option for Darian Smith.
"I wanted to, but no. I have not. I have children to feed and... I have children to feed," Smith said.
That's why he and hundreds of others came to the job fair- to connect with 30 vendors... 30 chances to get back to work.
"I'm a strong believer, so yeah. I think something's coming. I mean, good things come to those who wait," said Angela Rather.