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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Clinton fair draws hundreds of job seekers

By Tanisia Morris
Posted
Marisol Díaz/The Riverdale Press
RAFAEL PEREZ, 30, a 2012 Lehman College graduate, receives job search help from Scott Gallop, a representative from Labor Services, at a job fair held at DeWitt Clinton High School.

Carla Perez graduated from Lehman College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in May. She thought that she would land her dream job in social work immediately after, but that dream is yet to become a reality. 

“The months go by, the weeks pass and you’re still not getting anywhere,” said Ms. Perez, who interned at Lincoln Hospital and Montefiore Medical Center before she became unemployed. “But I try to keep a positive mentality.” 

Ms. Perez, 23, planned to connect with hiring managers from Jacobi Medical Center at the second Bronx Job Fair at DeWitt Clinton High School.  She was one of the 526 job seekers who waited in the long, snaking line for the doors to open at 4 p.m. on July 10. 

Job seekers withstood the scorching summer heat for the opportunity to meet with over 50 employers that included SoBro, Phipps, the Bronx Zoo, Health Plus and the NYPD.

Dressed in a black suit, Arismendy Diaz, 24, was the first person in line. He has been unemployed since he graduated from Lehman with a bachelor’s of science in business administration last year.  

 “I wanted to continue going to school for my master’s in business, but I don’t feel motivated because there are no jobs right now,” said Mr. Diaz. He is currently volunteering at Sprout, a non-profit dedicated to helping people with developmental disabilities.

Mr. Diaz’s struggle to find a job after graduation is not uncommon. An analysis released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York this year reported that, “unemployment and underemployment have followed a clear upward trend for recent college graduates over the past two decades, and particularly since the 2001 recession.”

Still, college graduates are not the only group affected by unemployment. 

While New York City’s overall seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate dropped from 8.6 percent in May of last year to 7.7 percent this year, the Bronx still has the highest unemployment rate of the five boroughs with an unadjusted rate of 10.6 percent, according to the New York State Department of Labor. 

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