Thomasville, Georgia- July 26, 2012
According to the Georgia Department of Labor, the jobless rate in Southwest Georgia climbed to 9.8% in June.
The announcement came as dozens of jobseekers and employers made their way to the Goodwill Job Fair in Thomasville on Thursday.
"You get to know what is hiring, what is not hiring, and get different applications and actually talk to someone face-to-face," said job seeker Rachel Brown.
David Brook is an employment specialist with Goodwill. He helped organized the job fair.
"It's important to get people connected, to provide a forum for them to meet and talk about themselves, to practice job-seeking skills."
Job seekers say that process hasn't always been easy.
"It's very frustrating because you get aggravated trying to find a job," said Brown. "People are barely hiring."
However, many say they remain optimistic.
"Just keep praying and keep your head up, you know? It'll come through," said job seeker Nathaniel Slater.
Businesses in attendance say the job fair is beneficial for them, too.
"It's good for networking with other businesses so that when I approach them they can say, 'oh I met her at the job fair,'" said Sue Wentworth, a sales representative at South Georgia Advertising. "It opens doors for me."
Employers say their best advice for job seekers is to never give up.
"Persistence is a virtue," said Brook. "If they will persist in seeking, they will find."