ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – Employers across the state are still in desperate need of workers after the extra federal unemployment money ran out Labor Day weekend. The Chaves County Economic Development Corporation held a job fair where 50 businesses had hundreds of open positions they were trying to fill.

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“We have several companies here looking but I haven’t seen a lot of applicants so far. I have actually only given three applications and none of them have come back yet,” said Edie Stevens, of Clarion Inn and Suites.

The last job fair that RCCEDC held was in May that only had 42 people who signed in looking for a job. Many of the businesses were offering incentives like sign-on bonuses and higher than minimum wage salaries to attract applicants. The lowest is $11 an hour, the highest close $20 for some.

“More people are coming up with more incentives to try and get people to work for them it means we are all very much in need of the help,” Stevens said.

Even though the turnout wasn’t as high as they hoped, employers are saying that now that the federal government unemployment benefits are running out, applications are starting to pick up.

Thad Bennett, Constructors Inc., said that many people are starting to get concerned and need a job. “There’s definitely a correlation for sure in my opinion and we have seen an uptick in applicants here in the last few weeks,” Bennett said.

There were several applicants that were present that were excited to be there, like Brandon Melendez, who was applying to work for the city in the Water Treatment Division. “It definitely has made it a lot easier to go through and talk to all the different types of jobs that are here rather than going out on your own and trying to scope things out that way,” said Melendez.

The Economic Development Corporation is looking into more frequent job fairs to try and fill positions.