More than 60 employers set up tables outside Dillon Stadium in Hartford Tuesday for a Veterans and Diversity Hiring Expo. The Connecticut Department of Labor teamed up with Hartford Athletic to host the event, connecting 300 job seekers with businesses that are hiring.
"I am trying to get back into the workforce. I am a little older now and I lost my job behind COVID. Trying to get back on the saddle," said TJ Smith from Norwich, one of the job seekers who attended the expo. "I am positive I will get back to work."
According to the state's interim DOL commissioner, it is a job seeker's market in Connecticut right now.
"There are jobs available and everybody looking for one should seize this opportunity right away," Dante Bartolomeo, interim commissioner of the CT Department of Labor.
According to the CT DOL, the unemployment rate is declining. It has fallen 1.2% in five months. In July the estimated unemployment rate was 7.3%. About 125,000 people are filing for unemployment weekly in Connecticut.
At the same time, the number of jobs are increasing. July saw the largest monthly job gain this year.
"Jobs are going up. The number of people employed is going up," said Bartolomeo. "It is all positive trends that we are seeing right now."
It is not just one industry hiring. Several industries were represented at the hiring expo Tuesday including school bus companies, manufacturing companies and landscapers.
Several employers said it has been difficult finding applicants. They said they are finding new ways to attract potential employees.
"It's really forcing employers to highlight the great benefits they have and what is the plus of joining their organization. We definitely felt that, but you have to get creative right now," said Angel Cyr who works for Nucor, a Wallingford based manufacturing company.