Need a job? Do the (Spring) Puyallup!

Need a job? Do the (Spring) Puyallup!
PUYALLUP, Wash. -- Need a job? Head over to the Puyallup Fairgrounds.

The Spring Fair will be held from April 16 through April 19, and some 160 temporary workers are needed. Organizers are looking for employees to run games and rides, and to work at food stands.

The fair only offers temporary positions, but the slumping economy many overqualified applicants eying them.

Job Hunter Karen Moore gets up early in the morning to chase down every lead she can find.

"Some of the stops I've made: Albertson's - I did an in-store (application drop), same as Wal-Mart I did an in-store," she said.

By noon on Monday, Moore, a mother of two who was recently laid off from manufacturing, had already made more than a dozen stops before heading over to apply for a job at the Spring Fair.

"Thirteen today. I've been out since 6 a.m. this morning," she said. "Looking for anything part-time, trying to find multiple jobs just to make it."

Curtis Parker, another job hunter, also applied to work the Spring Fair.

"I'm retired from the railroad. I'm just looking for something to keep the bills going and the rent," he said.

But working at the fair would only be a temporary fix for many, who have been out of work for months already.

"Mostly it's people that need some money right away. Saying things like, 'I'm trying to keep my car. I'm trying to make my payments.' You know, those kinds of things," said Theresa Hoffman of Washington State WorkSource Office.

And Spring Fair workers don't come close to meeting the cost of living in the area.

According to a new state workforce study, an adult living in Snohomish, King and Pierce counties would need to earn between $9 and $11 an hour in order to live without public aid. A parent with one child needs to earn $18 to $23 per hour.

"Costs are going up at a time when people are probably hard-pressed to meet those increases in cost because of the economy," said Seanna Ruvkin.

Moore's 15-year production line job isn't coming back; it moved to Mexico. She used to make $24 an hour. Most jobs at the fair offer $8.55 an hour. But Moore is still chasing after the position that could pay as little as a third of her previous pay, and she's doing it with a smile.

"You just do it. You go forward and you have a positive attitude," she said.

Hiring for the Spring Fair will continue on Tuesday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with an hour-long lunch break at noon. Applicants should head to the orange gate entrance on the west side of the fairgrounds.