Dispatches from the job search

The U.S. economy added 195,000 new jobs in June, the government reported today. The economy is adding an average of 200,000 jobs a month over recent months.

It’s going to take more than that, judging by a check of job fairs around the country in the last couple of weeks.

In Clay County, Florida, a new hospital held a job fair to fill 180 positions last week. Organizers expected 500 people to show up. Over 1,000 did. “It’s kind of scary,” Chris Breault, 53, of Orange Park, told Clay Today. He’s a construction worker applying for a maintenance position. “People are out of work. I mean look at the lines, it’s crazy. It’s my first job fair in over a year and I never had a wait like this.”

In Milwaukee, where employers are complaining they can’t find skilled workers, a recent job fair for welders was missing a key ingredient: Employers looking to hire people.

In Michiana, Indiana, the Goodwill job fairs usually attract about 200 people. On Tuesday, only 130 people showed up.

In Washington, too many people showed up for a job fair. They were turned away. Twelve-hundred people started getting in line at 6 a.m., for a job fair that started at 9.

The danger here, the AFL-CIO points out, is that job gains come and go and we’re in the middle of the third-longest streak of months in which jobs increased, and the country still a long way from out of the hole it’s dug.