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Employers at Blaisdell job fair compete for shrinking pool of workers

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 3:38 p.m. HST, Jan 29, 2014

Today's Job Quest job fair at the Neal Blaisdell Center drew 3,400 job seekers and 161 employers, according to the event's organizers.

Attendance was down slightly from 3,500 a year ago, while the number of employers was up from 150. The shift is the result of a strengthening job market in which more employers are competing for a shrinking pool of workers, said Beth Busch, president of Success Advertising Hawaii, which produces the job fair.

The state's unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in December, down from 5.1 percent the same month a year earlier.

There were several companies recruiting at the job fair for the first time, including Kualoa Ranch, Food Flying Group, Rengo Packaging and the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.

In addition, representatives from the University of Hawaii Community Colleges were on hand to provide information about a $24.6 million federal grant they received to help workers upgrade their job skills and find positions in the fields of energy, healthcare and agriculture.

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