Scott said the HomeSafe Georgia program, through which residents can qualify for 18 to 24 months of free home mortgage payments, was funded by Congress in 2008.
“It’s from our Hardest Hit program that we were able to attach to the Wall Street bailout bill,” he said about the $700 billion legislation. “As we said, if we can bail out Wall Street, and those big companies up there, we’ve got to get some help down at the lower-income and middle-income [levels] for struggling homeowners.”
At the job fair, Scott estimated more than 10,000 applicants came from all over the metro Atlanta area.
“Isn’t that something,” he said about a line of hundreds of applicants waiting to register. “This is big.”
The attendees met about 100 employers who committed to filling nearly 4,500 vacancies.
“They have those openings they are looking to fill because one of the requirements that we have for employers coming, they’ve got to hire people. They have to have openings,” Scott said. Employers like the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, SunTrust, UPS, Regions Bank, Wells Fargo Bank and Waffle House represented industries seeing growth, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.
In the most recent jobless figures for the state and metro Atlanta – 7.1 and 6.9 percent, respectively, in February – the sectors shedding the fewest workers included accommodations, hospitality, transportation and warehousing. Those industries plus financial services were among those gaining the most jobs year-to-year in metro Atlanta, where the February 2013 unemployment rate was 8.4 percent.
“This is the eighth month in a row that Georgia’s unemployment rate has declined,” state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement. “The rate dropped in February because Georgia employers created nearly 7,000 new jobs and reduced the number of new layoffs more than 30 percent.”