By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- Oklahoma has set a new record for unemployment claims. The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission says the state paid $20 million this week on 64,000 claims.
Many people are doing whatever it takes to get a fresh start in this economy.
The soft opening of Mayo Hotel is about six weeks away. Hotel managers held a job fair Wednesday for potential employees at the Tulsa landmark.
Hundreds of hopefuls showed up, many of them saying it's the only opportunity around.
Mayo General Manager Wesley Ludloff will hire 70 people from the fair. He says a lot of people have recently been laid off and are looking for work.
Jasmine James is looking for a job. She was born and raised in California but moved to Tulsa last year to find work. She found it at a temp agency and then became a victim of the economy.
"As the jobs decreased, you begin to look around the corner and go, ‘uh-oh, is it going to be me next?' And sure enough I was laid off. So I've been beating the pavement looking for something else," said Jasmine James, a job seeker.
She spends her nights at the Day Center for the Homeless.
"You never picture yourself in a situation like that, but that's exactly what can take place. You lose your job, you don't have reserves stored up," said Jasmine James. "And you're homeless."
The job fair also means the world to Christine Galvin. Last week the 42-year-old Tulsan did something she hasn't done since she was a teenager.
"Right now I moved back in with my parents," said Christine Galvin, a job seeker.
And she says asking mom and dad for help was a last resort.
"It's a little disheartening," said Christine Galvin.
Piece by piece, the hotel is coming together and Jasmine is keeping her head up.
"This hopefully is going to turn out into something really good," said Jasmine James.
The 70 new hotel employees will start work at the end of August. The applicants who made the first cut will hear back in about two weeks for follow-up interviews.