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125,000 in NYC Lose Jobs in Last Six Months

Thursday, March 05, 2009

More than 125,000 New Yorkers lost their jobs in the last half year. That's according to the latest state labor department figures. The unemployment rate saw the largest two-month increase in two decades. Almost 4000 job-seekers were feeling those numbers today, at a job fair in Times Square. Forty-year-old Guido Alvarado says he was laid off last fall and started collecting food stamps in January. After 18 years as an IT consultant, he dropped off his resume at Sleepy's today, hoping he could get a job selling mattresses.

He says he often hears the same speech:

ALVARADO: Your starting salary is going to be $11 dollars, $12, and when you get hired, it's going to $15. And at Chrysler, I was over $30 an hour. And now, all of a sudden, I have to talk to somebody and say, "Hey, I'll take the entry-level job for anything."

Alvarado says he's considering moving back to South America to find a job. An organizer of the job fair -- sponsored by monster.com -- says people had started lining up at 6:15 this morning.

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