Some 4,000 hopeful job applicants had submitted job applications by Thursday to apply for about 250 openings available at a new Target store that will open in Downtown Los Angeles in October.
The event, held across town in West Los Angeles, brought out many who were hopeful about ending longterm joblessness during a period of high unemployment.
Tanjalay Lovelady made the drive to the Olympic Collection Conference Center hoping this would be the end to her search.
"It’s been a struggle, but it hasn’t been that overbearing," she said. "But it’s been a little bit of a struggle, yes."
Target officials, who welcomed media to their job event, said the huge response was a bit of a surprise. The job fair will last through Saturday, they said.
"It's been surprisingly overwhelming. It's been positive. We've had over 4,000 applicants in our computer system. We've been able to meet with about 400 applicants today," said Simone Tatro, Target store manager.
California's unemployment rate is 10.7 percent, the third-highest in the nation.
Most of that job loss is centered in inland California, where housing was the economic engine before the floor fell out of real estate.
But there has also been job creation, mostly along the coast in high tech, particularly Silicon Valley and Orange County.
Los Angeles County has had a more difficult time, in part because of its high proportion of less-educated workers. Nationwide, workers who have a lower than ninth-grade education is about 6 percent. In LA County, it's 15 percent, according to William Yu of the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Economists say that those without work are having an especially tough time getting re-employed -- and that's particularly true for those without a college degree.
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Published at 6:35 PM PDT on Aug 16, 2012 | Updated at 8:11 PM PDT on Aug 16, 2012