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Long queue for Chicago zoo jobs

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Potential job applicants fill out their forms

More than 1,000 people showed up at a suburban zoo in Chicago in the hope of getting a seasonal job paying $8 (5.40) an hour.

Brookfield Zoo, in a suburb of Chicago, advertises for seasonal jobs every year. The jobs range from custodial positions to a tram driver.

Many of those who turned up had been without work for months.

Despite the record number of applicants, the zoo said it would hold another job fair in March.

'Times are hard'

"Whatever's available we'll take it right now," George Johnson, an unemployed man, told ABC News.

"Because times are hard with jobs and you want to get what's in your field, but sometimes you got to take what you can," he said.

"We had people here at the gate at 0930 this morning and the job fair wasn't supposed to start until noon," Sani Dornhecker, from the zoo's human resources department, told the network.

The zoo's wildlife includes a rare Amur tiger, kangaroos, elephants, lions and giraffes.

The job fair came amid continuing bad news for the US economy; more than 600,000 jobs were lost in January alone as the country struggled with the global financial downturn.

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