Article of the Week - 10/24/2010
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the U.S. Unemployment rate has climbed to 9.6% for August of 2010. This means an amazing one out of ten people in the United States who is eligible to work (not classifying themselves as retired, long-term sickness, or attending some educational institution, and of eligible working age) is currently out of a job. That is an alarming 4,000,000 (4 million) jobs lost since November 2008.
In addition the economy is extremely tight right now with indications that worker productivity is going up (fewer people, but the employed are working more and working longer hours), gross domestic product is continuing to go down (total value of goods produced in the United States), and it continues to be extremely difficult for financial institutions to apply for credit from financial institutions. These are signs to employers that they should be conservative and reduce expenses and focus on the bottom line. The single biggest expense for most businesses is payroll, and the reducing staffing levels for a business has good short-term benefits (immediate reduction in payroll) and long-term results (overall productivity boost, able to use the money to invest in core business services and customer satisfaction fulfillment).
What this means for you is three things. First is that it is a very bad time to be looking for a job. There are a lot of people also looking for jobs and those people are generally well qualified. Secondly employers are not very interested in hiring right now. The economy looks uncertain and unstable and it is hard to justify the expense of interviewing, training, monitoring, and advancing a new hire that won't be competent in that skill set for weeks. Third is that because of the tight credit by the financial institutions, mostly through government takeover and new regulatory restrictions, business can't expand and must rely on existing cash flow or general-fund deposits for new expenses. There are a lot of businesses that would like to hire but can't. Credit is the lifeblood of business, and the credit is being choked off.
There are several solutions. Explore new professional fields. The U.S. government is preparing to take over the medical industry and vastly expand medical offerings. Getting specialized training in medical related fields can be a good plan for future employment. Other possibilities include becoming a "mega-worker" proving to employers that you will work multiple jobs, longer hours, provide great service to customers, and do it with a smile. Some people have started their own businesses working from existing knowledge that they have gotten through a lifetime of learning and a person's specific knowledge of industry procedures and possible places that is under-utilized and profitable.
It's a great time to try something. It is a time to reexamine the business world and determine what your place in it should be. You have the opportunity to take inventory of your skills and training provided by previous jobs and find a way to use it in a way that can profit you. Times may be tough, but there are still a lot of opportunities.