Nearly 3 dozen Morro Bay businesses participating in Thursday job fair

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Posted at 6:23 PM, May 19, 2021

Local businesses in the heart of Morro Bay are rallying together to get new employees through their doors.

From 2-4 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, job seekers can visit 33 different businesses in the seaside city to meet employers and potentially land an interview.

There are roughly 100 jobs available.

This comes as the vacation destination of Morro Bay is ramping up for a peak number of tourists.

"We are always kind of eyes on Memorial Day weekend as the kick-off for our high season," said Erica Crawford, Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce President and CEO.

"We are hiring" signs are posted outside dozens of businesses.

While San Luis Obispo County has the 6th lowest unemployment rate in the state, employers like Cherise Hansson of Under the Sea Gallery located on the Embarcadero say it's been a struggle to get job seekers to walk through the door.

"I maybe get one every two weeks," Hansson explained.

Many California employers say unemployment benefits could be to blame for the lack of applicants.

"A lot of them were making more than they were before," Hansson said.

"Nobody wants to work because the unemployment is so fabulous," added Lisa Whirlow, Stockton's Miracle Mile Improvement District Vice President.

But with increased unemployment benefits slated to sunset in September, Eckerd Connects and the Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce are pulling together nearly three dozen businesses on Thursday for a job fair.

"This is the first of its kind," Crawford said. "It's citywide and job seekers can just download a map and then go to each of these places of business."

The businesses range from hotels and restaurants to salons.

The jobs fair is modeled after a similar undertaking 250 miles away in Stockton earlier this month.

More than a mile of businesses accepted applications as they too are struggling to get employees.

"Every place got pretty much in between four to ten applications that was hiring," Whirlow said.

Back here at home, some of the businesses like Under the Sea are offering above minimum wage in addition to bonuses as life slowly returns to how it once was.

"This has been the busiest year so far that I've ever seen in all 22 years and so we absolutely positively have a lot of opportunity for employees," Hansson said.

For a map of the businesses that are taking part in Thursday's job fair, visit the Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce or click here.

Organizers say to be sure to dress professionally and bring a resume.

Local unemployment rates are improving month after month.

According to data from the California Employment Development Department, the unemployment rate was 5.8% in March of 2021 in San Luis Obispo County.

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State of California Employment Development Department

It was 6.6% in Santa Barbara County in March.

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State of California Employment Development Department