More than 10,000 people showed up Thursday for the event at Southern New Hampshire University's athletic complex in Manchester. The job fair had been heavily promoted on television, but organizers expected just 5,000 participants.
Traffic was backed up for miles and quickly filled the 3,000-car Mall of New Hampshire parking lot, which was being used as a shuttle-bus pickup hub.
Officials say 1,300 people, many of them dressed in business suits, entered the job fair within the first hour. The event began at 10 a.m. and was supposed to run until 3 p.m.
CBS station WBZ in Boston reported that by 12:30 p.m. organizers had to shut it down because they were overwhelmed by the turnout.
"We have stopped the number of job seekers who can come to campus because of capacity," said SNHU spokesman Gregg Mazzola. "It's a safety issue."
"(Turnout) runs the gamut, old, young, black, white. I don't think this economy has any gender barriers, age barriers, ethnic barriers," Mazzola told WBZ.
See video of the crowd here: