Yorkdale job fair: Why 1,000 young people showed up for 250 positions

It has not been a good summer for job seekers, especially young ones. More than 1000 turned out for a job fair at Yorkdale Shopping Centre.

Competitive job fair corresponds with this summer's dismal employment numbers

Hundreds attended Wednesday's job fair at Yorkdale Shopping Centre. (Trevor Dunn)

It has not been a good summer for job seekers, especially young ones, which might be why more than 1,000 people showed up Wednesday for a job fair to fill 250 new positions at Yorkdale Shopping Centre.

The event happened the same week we learned that in July the Canadian economy shed 71,400 full-time jobs — the biggest one-month decline since 2011.

The loss was partially offset by a gain of 40,200 part-time jobs. That may sound like good news for young people, who often look for fewer hours, but there's more bad news.

According to Statistics Canada, there were 28,000 fewer jobs for people aged 15 to 24.

So it's no wonder there was a big turnout at the Yorkdale job fair.

Many were young people. And many said they really need a job.

Michael Vo, 20

York University student Michael Vo has been looking for a part-time job for more than a year. (Trevor Dunn)

Second year York University student Michael Vo has been looking for a part-time job for a year and a half. He's studying to be museum curator but in the meantime he'd be happy to work in retail. "Most of my work has been through family. But now that I'm not working with them anymore, it's been really tough."

Andrea Velez, 28

Andrea Velez attended the job fair at Yorkdale Shopping Centre on Wednesday. (Trevor Dunn)

Andrea Velez's has plenty of retail experience but has had trouble landing a job lately. "I've been with Forever 21, UGG, here and there as a sales associate, so this is kind of my thing." She's hopeful the retail management course she's taking at the Rexdale Community Hub will give her an advantage. Velez wants a full-time job, but wouldn't turn down part-time. "Whatever they give me I'll take it. I need the work." 

Sarah Sardar, 20

Fourth year business student Sarah Sardar is looking for a part-time job for now. (Trevor Dunn)

"I had one interview but didn't get the job." That's been the outcome of Sarah Sardar's summer job search. She's a 4th year business student at York University and looking for part-time work, with the hope it could turn into full-time when she graduates. "I'm kind of just trying them all. Open to anything. H&M, Samsung, maybe Starbucks?"