FIU students attend Orlando job fair as employment rises

By: Jasiel Lopez/Staff Writer

Over 120 employers gathered in the University of Central Florida’s CFE arena on Thursday, May 10, for the annual statewide job fair. Coordinated by Florida Career Centers, a group of career service directors from all 10 public universities in the state, the day was an opportunity for students, recent graduates, and alumni to meet with employers offering over 200 jobs.

Facilitated by the University’s Career and Talent Development Services, 64 students and alumni boarded a free bus that departed from MMC and headed to the job fair in Orlando.

Elery Rojas, event coordinator for the department, said that this job fair is organized every year. She said that transportation will be also be provided to students for next year’s statewide job fair.

“This is a huge opportunity for students to get out of their comfort zone,” said Rojas “It’s important to see it at a different scale. Some of these companies are recruiting from outside of Florida.”

FCC’s statewide job fair came less than a week after the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics released the jobs report for April 2018, which noted a 3.9 percent unemployment rate, the lowest it has been since the year 2000. Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity also reported a 3.9 percent rate of unemployment for the state in March.

For recent graduates entering the workforce, a low unemployment rate means more opportunities to find work. In April there were 6.6 million job openings, more than the 6.4 million unemployed workers, according to BLS.

“It’s a hiring frenzy,” said Rojas. “There are so many job postings in the system, that there aren’t enough applicants,” she said, referring to Handshake, the job posting site employed by career services.

Despite the high demand for workers, nationally, hourly wages have not been rising as steeply.

According to the April BLS report, average hourly wages increased by 2.6 percent from last year, but concurrently, there was a 2.4 percent inflation rate. The result is basically a .2 percent increase in real wages.

Javon Anthony Lloyd, senior communications manager for Career Source Broward, said that he believes that the strong south Florida economy, coupled with an increase in employers hiring may eventually lead to higher wages.

“When you need high skilled workers in such a limited pool, because so many people are hiring, they’ll start to raise their pay,” said Lloyd.

Career Source Broward is one of 24 workforce development boards across the state partnered with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The board works with both employees and employers for their hiring and employment needs. Career Source South Florida is the board that serves Miami-Dade residents.

Lloyd advises recent graduates to be persistent when looking for work because there is still competition, even when unemployment is low. He also advises job seekers to do their research when looking for work and to apply to jobs that match their area of study.

“If there’s a position that is related to your major and related to what you want to do, apply for it,” Lloyd said. “It may not be starting at the salary you would want but you get your foot in the door.”


Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

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