The job market in our area is tight, especially in Columbus County, with the highest unemployment rate in our region. A career fair held on Tuesday aimed to help. At the Southeastern Community College Career Fair in Columbus County, many showed up with one goal in mind, to find a job. “I'm hoping to find something that will take the place of what I have lost, which was a long career that I thought would be my last stop,” said Deanna Harrelson. Across our state, unemployment is the highest it's been since the 80’s, and it hasn't spared residents in Columbus County as the unemployment rate has soared to over 13 percent. So for some, a career fair could not have come at better time. “I’m in real estate and it has been hit hard, so you have a tendency to check alternatives out,” said Les Hotte. More than 30 businesses, many from the health field, sponsored the event. "We are always looking for great employees. Columbus County, as you know, has really been hit hard with unemployment, so we are really trying to hire as many people as we can,” said Rodney Singletary of Group Care Management. Katie Murphy from BB&T was also at the job fair. "We are still out there, we are still hiring. We are looking for the best of the best." The Wilmington metropolitan area has a 10.8 percent jobless rate. Bladen and Columbus are faring the worst, with numbers exceeding 13 percent. Pender and Brunswick counties aren't far behind.
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