By Bill Parry
Job seekers can find more than 40 potential employers under one roof this Thursday as state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) hosts his 6th annual Job Fair to Curb Unemployment at the Queens Center mall in Elmhurst. Between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. companies and service providers such as Terrace on the Park, Plumbers Local 1 Training Center, The Cheesecake Factory, Con Edison and the Department of Homeland Security will accept resumes and offer career advice at the Food Court.
“Although the economy is improving, and fortunately, more people are finding jobs, there are still thousands and thousands of job seekers in Queens,” Peralta said. “Every potential job opportunity at the fair could mean a paycheck for a hardworking neighbor. It is my hope that the job fair will help unemployed New Yorkers get a job in order to support their families.”
More than 50 job seekers were hired on the spot last year and over 1,240 interviews were conducted during last year’s job fair. Queens Center mall and Woodside on the Move are co-sponsoring the event with Peralta.
“We see people in our office everyday looking for good jobs to support their families,” Woodside on the Move Executive Director Amy Paul said. “Job fairs like this help cut the red tape and give hardworking residents first-hand access to employers.”
Other companies taking part include Game Stop, the International Shops at the City’s Airports as well as the city Department of Education Office of Adult Continuing Education.
“This is the third year that Queens Center has been the venue for this very successful job fair,” said John Scaturro, senior manager for marketing at Queens Center, said. “It fits perfectly into our initiative to be a good corporate neighbor and support job-seekers and employers in the community. It also provides our retailers and restaurants with the opportunity to interview potential employees as they open new stores and head into the busy, holiday, retail season.”
According to the New York State Department of Labor, the unemployment rate in Queens was 4.4 percent in June compared to 5.2 percent in May 2015. But a new report from city Comptroller Scott Stringer shows that the borough’s unemployment rate is actually 4.1 percent, the lowest among the five boroughs.
The Comptroller’s Quarterly Economic Update did have one ominous finding, however. The city’s economy, while continuing to outpace the nation’s, grew an estimates 1.7 percent between April and June of this year.the slowest rate since the end of 2013.
“Our city’s economy is still growing, but in 2016 we’ve gone from a sprint to a jog,” Stringer said. “For the first time in a number of years, several important economic indicators are pointing toward weaker growth. While the residential real estate market remains strong and the wage gap has narrowed, this report confirms that our recovery is no longer gaining steam.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr