You might call it a sign of the economic times. You might also see it as a community's call for help.
Whatever the interpretation, the turnout of more than 200 people for a midday, three-hour job fair at the Elks at Bass Rocks on Tuesday should also serve as a wakeup call for Gloucester and Cape Ann town officials as to condition of the local economy and the need for economic growth.
Given the 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. time frame, and the short time the event received advance publicity, it's hard to imagine how many more job seekers would have liked to attend, but could not — just as it's clear that Gloucester's 10.2 percent jobless rate for February is tied only to the 1,611 workers who were documented as unemployed out of the recognized workforce of 15,841, with others no doubt falling through a variety of cracks.
With all of that in mind, our thanks and congratulations go out to the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, Action Inc., the North Shore Career Center and the Boston-based Eliot Community Human Services, who teamed up to host Tuesday's event.
While we first hope that the fair's employers and job seekers can successfully find matches to meet their needs, here's hoping the hosting nonprofit groups look to make this perhaps a semiannual or even quarterly event.
If anyone questioned the need for regular local job fairs, Tuesday's turnout provided the answer — loud and clear.