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Mayor’s Business Day draws fewer than expected

The fourth annual mayor’s business day in Idaho Falls brought in people and businesses to the Shilo Inn today, but not as many as you’d think. The event was presented by the Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce, Department of Labor and the city of Idaho Falls.

Representatives from more than two dozen businesses took applications, resumes and offered advice to locals looking for a job.

Rexburg company Progrexion was at the fair. The company helps people and businesses improve their credit scores.

“This gives us the opportunity to let people know what we do and let people know that we’re thriving and doing really good in Rexburg,” said senior recruiter Dana Rae Bennett.

But this year, the turnout was down for the event. Organizer Raquel Longoria says about 150 people showed up this year, compared to 300 people last year. Other years have seen up to 500 people.

“I really would have anticipated more job-seekers to be out,” said Longoria.

Regional Economist Will Jenson explained why he thinks the turnout was so low.

“The unemployment rate is about 5.4 percent now, so that’s improving, so with those changes it’s easy to see how there would be less participation in a job fair,” he said.

Other factors may include advertising, a change of venue and a new time. Jenson also says we may be seeing a change when it comes to the usefulness of job fairs like this.

“This also could be an indicator as to how people are looking for jobs, and a lot of new job-seekers are very inclined to look for jobs online instead of walking in and talking to someone person to person,” he said.

But those few who did show up Tuesday might have that face-to-face advantage.

“We’re really excited about a few of the resumes we’ve been able to pick up today,” said Bennett.

A lunch and a business trade show wrapped up the afternoon. The turnout for the trade show was a little better than the job fair.

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