Forty years ago this week an ominous flashback to the Depression days played out in Nowra.
Around 500 people queued in the rain and jostled for 60 jobs on offer in Bomaderry in October 1979.
Another 267 lined up for six jobs on offer at a new fruit market.
Sixty jobs were on offer at the newly built Bomaderry nursing home. The huge crowd flooded the Brinawaar Street facility after management consultant Doug Moran placed an advertisement in the Shoalhaven and Nowra News.
Mr Moran told the Shoalhaven and Nowra News his five-man interviewing team was caught completely off-guard.
"We've built other hospitals and this has never happened before," he said.
"We were just flabbergasted.
"We just couldn't control the crowd and has to appoint two watchmen to help us."
Mr Moran said it was upsetting to see so many good people out of work and desperate for a job.
"It's something that has to be taken up with local politicians and Premier Wran should come down and take a look at the situation," he said.
The 60 jobs Mr Moran was offering ranged from unskilled gardeners, cleaning staff and handymen, to matron-in-charge.
He said his staff could not cope with the big number of applicants but that all job-seekers had filled out application forms and would be interviewed.
He said it would be very hard to choose who would get the jobs as so many people of high calibre had applied.
"It makes me wish it was in my power to build another one and provide more jobs," Mr Moran said.
The 80 bed, $1 million nursing home was due to be opened by Health Minister Ralph Hunt on October 19, 1979.
In another incident in the same month, 267 young men and women queued for up to five hours to apply for six jobs on offer.
They swamped their prospective employer George Bond, who was advertising the six jobs for his soon-to-be opened fruit market.
Mr Bond had advertised in the Shoalhaven and Nowra News for "two young men and four young women."
He said he was amazed by the response.
"I didn't expect anything like it," he said.
"I interviewed people from noon to 5pm and some people had to wait all that time.
"If I wanted a job, I might have waited an hour or two - but not five.
"It just goes to show what these so-called dole bludgers are prepared to do to get a job."
Mr Bond said he would probably choose young people because he had seven children of his own and knew how hard it was for young people trying to enter the workforce.
Mr Bond's 'Sooper Fruit' was due to open in the old Nowra Marine Centre on the corner of Graham and North Streets on October 11, 1979.
Information provided by Shoalhaven Historical Society.