By Steve Patterson
ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - A mortgage company held a job fair on Thursday looking to fill 300 new positions in the area.
The Texas-based Nationstar Mortgage started taking applications from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in Westport.
They came looking for mortgage professionals: loan processors, funders, underwriters, managers and people looking to break in with entry level positions.
Company reps say they among the hundreds that showed up, there were a strong pool of applicants.
"We have made progress. It's just very slow progress in the recovery of the job market," said Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Economist Bill Emmons, who's encouraged by signs of growth but says the area is still behind.
"One way to think about it is at the nationwide level, we've made up about a half of all the jobs lost in the rescission," Emmons said. "In our area region, it's more like one-third."
St. Louis still has an unemployment rate hovering around 9 percent. A few percentage points more when compared to surrounding counties.
"The unemployment rate is coming down, more rapidly than most economists expected," he said. "But underlying job growth is not that strong. So really the reason the unemployment rate is coming down there's not much growth in the labor force."
But Emmons says he sees signs of a recovery, like Thursday's job fair.
Progress, no matter how slow it may be.