NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell for the seventh straight week.

The latest numbers from the Labor Department show claims dropped by 1,000 to a pandemic low of 268,000.

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Still, many are looking for work, and rapper Jay-Z’s company, Roc Nation, stepped in to help Thursday, organizing a job fair at Madison Square Garden with the Reform Alliance, which advocates for the formerly incarcerated.

Six thousand job seekers filled the arena.

James Bailey was making his pitch, eager to land a role in sports and entertainment.

“You can’t be scared. You’ve got to put yourself out there. That way, when doors do open for the future, you’re always ready,” he told CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas.

Attendees could get free haircuts or makeup application, along with resume and career assistance, all in an effort to put their best foot forward.

“A good economy is an inclusive economy. It’s one where everyone is brought in to do their part, to work and contribute,” said Robert Rooks, CEO of Reform Alliance. “And we need that in New York now more than ever before.”

At the job fair, those with past criminal records were not disqualified.

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“We see this as sort of like a magical mix of wonder that’s really going to address both the labor shortage issues and that’s going to revitalize New York City,” said Dania Diaz, managing director of Team Roc for Roc Nation.

There are hundreds of job openings at the NFL alone at various levels.

This comes as employers across the country are struggling to fill vaccancies — a near record 10.4 million openings in September alone.

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“I wasn’t sure what to expect, but once I started talking to people, it seemed a lot more hopeful,” job seeker Gabe Jones said.

Rap icon Jadakiss provided added motivation.

“Keep ya CAP on. These young kids use CAP in a different definition, but I like to say character, attitude and personality, if you got all three of them things in tact, you should be good today,” he said.

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Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin says he wants the city and state to use this job fair as a model by organizing job fairs with wraparound services, especially targeting underserved communities.

Aundrea Cline-Thomas