Friday morning the Labor Department reported that the U.S. added 217,000 jobs in May, and the unemployment rate stayed the same at 6.3 percent.
Whether it’s here at Marketplace, elsewhere online or in newspapers, stories about the latest unemployment numbers need pictures. In the past, news outlets used images of people in line at the unemployment office. But nowadays, people can sign up for jobless benefits by phone or online.
So today, when news photographers need fresh pictures of lots and lots of unemployed people, they take their cameras to career fairs. Then, each month when the jobless numbers come out, like clockwork, scores of websites and newspapers will dutifully use these photos, repeatedly, in their stories reporting the news.
This endless monthly wallpaper of career fair images got us wondering about what actually happens inside them. Does anyone actually get jobs, or are they a waste of time for job seekers? What kind of companies show up? Who makes money off these events? Are they changing as the economy slowly improves?
Find the answer to all those questions and more, by clicking that play button on the audio player above.
Because, let’s be honest, you can only learn so much about job fairs by looking at these stock photos:
Job fairs are normally held in drab hotel ballrooms
Organizers sometimes try to dress the joints up with balloons, but it makes it look worse, really. However it apparently makes the image more appealing to photo editors. This particular shot has been used over and over.
Job fairs involve a lot of silently waiting in line
Job fairs keep office supply companies in business
Job fairs give Millennials a chance to expand their love of vintage items
Job fairs are an excellent place for briefcase enthusiasts to see these objects at use in the wild.