Another visible sign the economy is improving: fewer people looking for work at job fairs, but more employers looking to hire.
Work2Future, an employment training group, held a job fair Wednesday in San Jose. Last year, 800 people attended the fair, but this year only about 300 people showed up looking for work.
Some employers admit, now they have to work harder to find employees.
"Now it looks like there are more jobs out there, so less and less candidates,” said Brenda Delgado, who is looking to hire a few new employees at Impec Group, a facilities solutions company in Santa Clara. “So, now, we are being a little more aggressive, reaching out to the candidates themselves versus waiting for them to come to us."
That means solutions now attends more and more job fairs, like the one held Wednesday at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose.
And there's another difference this year.
“We have more employers signing up than last year,” Work2Future’s BJ Sims said.
Sims said the biggest need is for drivers, home health care workers and administrative assistants, along with people who can work in retail and service industries.
Those companies say they now have fewer candidates to choose from.
At the fair last year, Little Caesars received 300 applications. This year: just 10.
But job seeker Penny Taganova is happy to see there is now less competition for jobs.
“I’m pretty optimistic,” Taganova said. “It feels like there’s a lot more work out there than there used to be.”
Many companies, like Target, are also looking to hire for the holiday season. South Bay Macy’s stores plan to hire 2,500 people.