Published Feb. 21, 2013
By Josh Peterson, KVEW TV
Many job seekers across the Mid-Columbia say they are still having a tough time finding a job, even though the economy appears to be improving.
Some job seekers tell us they've been looking for a stable, long-term job for years, and they just haven't had any luck yet.
Hundreds of people looking for work filled Columbia Basin College today for the school's 29th annual Career Expo.
More than 80 businesses and agencies were at the event.
People from across the Mid-Columbia came to the school to submit resumes and informally interview with companies.
Some job seekers we spoke with say many businesses are looking for people with professional experience, and it is hard to break into a field if they don't have that yet.
Others say just finding an open position that's a good fit for them is difficult.
"It's been very challenging. I spend 2 - 3 hours a day on the computer. I go to the library, WorkSource, constantly applying" said LJ Johnson, looking for a sales / marketing job.
"There's not too much out there. However, they are looking more for the professionals, anyone who has already got their BS and 5, 10 years of experience is what they're really looking for" said Tim Brown, looking for an IT job.
Job seekers tell us more companies outside the Tri-Cities are hiring, like in Seattle and Portland.
But finding jobs here has been tough so far.
Other job seekers say they've tried to get by doing contract and freelance work, but it's not easy.
Many say they're looking for long-term stability.
According to the most recent data from December 2012, the unemployment rate in Benton County is 9%.
In Franklin County, it is 11.5%.
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