Thousands attend Alabama job fair

(AP) BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A job fair featuring more than 100 employers drew an estimated 5,000 people seeking work in Birmingham.

People began lining up three hours before the event began Wednesday at the city's convention center. The job fair was put together by the office of Rep. Terri Sewell, whose district includes part of metro Birmingham and much of the state's impoverished Black Belt region.

Sewell says the unemployment rate in her district is 18.8 percent, or more than 10 percentage points above the national level. She says the high rate is based on an insufficient number of jobs, not on an unwillingness to work.

Companies participating in the job fair had to be hiring for positions that are currently open.

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