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While the unemployment rate has hit an all time high in 26 years at 9.7 percent, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment has not been in such dire conditions since 1983.

While African Americans have suffered greatly and 15.1 percent unemployment in

the month of August, up from 14.5 in July.

At a job fair in New York’s Madison Square Garden, a large number of black men of all ages were in attendance in efforts to gain employment.

“It’s humbling,” said Brendan Allen an entrepreneur , who was supporting himself “maneuvering stocks” until recently.

Joseph Thompson stood outside of Madison Square Garden six hours before the fair opened.

“It’s been painful to go through this instability,” said Thompson, who is seeking a general accountant position. “But it’s a blessing in a disguise because it’s allowing me to market myself and further my skill sets while I look for work.”

Some job-seeker were overwhelmed by the masses of people applying for the same jobs.

“I feel like I’m just a needle in a haystack,” said Edward Amo-krah of Jersey City, N.J. “When I saw the hundreds and hundreds of people outside waiting in line, it really gets to your spirit.”

Amo-krah lost his position as an internal auditor at AIG in 2007. He is know looking to pursue a a teaching career.

“I feel that teaching is just more rewarding,” Amo-krah said. “I’ve been substituting for about a while now, and I’m thinking this is my next thing.”

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