LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Searching for the next big opportunity but in a different line of work. That's top of mind for many of the job seekers attending Friday’s Clark County Spring Job Fair. 6,100 people attended with 450 hired on the spot. It comes as the job market is heating up and unemployment is trending down.
"I'm very personable. I love talking to people, getting to know people. I seem to have an awesome skill of getting people out of their shells," said Giselle Rosales.
Rosales is selling her personality to prospective employers. After working for an animal daycare, she's looking for more stable employment.
"Passion doesn't pay the bills, so I'm ready to expand my skills,” she said.
What could pay the bills? Perhaps a job working for MGM, where Rosales is waiting for an interview.
"I am interested in casinos as well, so customer service. Front desk as well. Possibly barista. Working with people in general,” she said.
RELATED: More than 100 companies with $18+ per hour jobs will be at Spring Job Fair in Las Vegas
Janet Vaughn is also looking for a fresh start, after working for years as a substitute teacher.
"I'm looking for a position in a hotel as a minibar attendant,” she said.
So far, she feels optimistic.
"The employers are open, they're communicative. They're friendly and they're welcoming,” Vaughn said.
Both women are among the 7,000 people who registered for Friday's Clark County job fair. More than 100 employers looked to fill more than 13,000 positions, with pay starting at $18 an hour. It also comes as Nevada’s unemployment rate is trending down, now just over 5 percent, close to the pre-pandemic level of about 4 percent in February of 2020.
Commissioner Tick Segerblom says it's a ripe job market in the valley.
"If you're an employee and looking for work, this is your time,” he said.
Rosales says while she's still waiting for the right offer, she's confident her people skills shine through.
"I feel the way I talk and make people feel will hopefully stand out,” she said.
It was a buffet of employers looking to hire at the job fair, ranging from police to casinos. Barclays saw a stream of people stopping by.
"So that really goes to show that people are ready to get back to work, and they're looking for a company they can start their career with,” said DeAndre Esteen, VP of Barclays Bank U.S.
The company says its hiring has become competitive. As a result, it’s raising its base wage to more than $20 an hour and offering incentives like hybrid working to fill about 600 positions.
"The pandemic really allowed us to see this flexible working model and that it does work, and that's something very attractive to job-seekers,” Esteen said.
The Westgate Las Vegas has also adjusted employee wages while trying to fill hundreds of positions. It’s also emphasizing a stable workplace culture.
"We have so many team members on our property that have been there a number of years — 60 team members that have been there 40 years or more,” said Gordon Prouty, VP of public relations and community affairs.
The available employment pool is shrinking. Only about 16,000 unemployment claims were filed as of early April in Nevada. That's lower than the more than 22,000 claims filed in early March, right before the pandemic shutdowns. Still, Commissioner Segerblom says there's a sense of desperation for some employers, so they're changing certain requirements to find qualified staffing.
"They're bending the rules as far as college education. They're just looking for people who want to work and they're sharp,” Segerblom said.
Jobseekers like Vaughn have noticed a shift.
"They're giving a lot of sign-on bonuses and a lot of initiatives to get more people on board,” she said.
For companies like Barclays, they expect to continue adjusting to the evolving job-seekers market.
"We just want to make sure we're taking care of our community and taking care of our colleagues as well,” Esteen said.
County officials say based on the turnout they saw Friday, they may have another job fair sometime in the summer.