I think it’s a fair statement that nobody has been untouched by this recession. It also appears that the recovery is going to take longer than anyone really wants it to.
I’m sure we all wish we could flip a magic switch and turn it all around, but unfortunately, that just won’t happen. Growth and recovery is a slow process, but one that more and more people are optimistic is beginning.
According to the New York Times, this recession has been more sever than any since the Great Depression and it has left an enormous strain on the housing industry and has riddled the nation with seemingly insurmountable debt. The economy has fallen so far that it could take years for it to climb back just to where it was before this all began.
This quote from the “Times” is sobering. “At the current rate of job creation, the nation would need nine more years to recapture the jobs lost during the recession.”
Nine years. Where will you be in 9 years? And to top it all off, that estimate doesn’t even take into consideration the five to six million jobs that will be needed within that time to keep up with the expanding population.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics published a report on October 8, 2010 recapping employment stats for September. Here are just some of the job highlights…and low-lights for the month.
• Government positions fell 159,000, largely in part due to census workers finishing their employments
• Leisure increased positions by 38,000 with food and drink providers making up 34,000 of those positions
• Private sector employment added 863,000 jobs so far this year with an average of 96,000 in September
• Construction employment was down with losses averaging about 10,000 jobs per month, however, in 2009, the loss rate was 84,000 a month, so this is an improvement
• The manufacturing industry saw no change
• Temporary help added 17,000 jobs, but it is unclear how many will become permanent positions
• Health care added 24,000 jobs with ambulatory services making up 17,000 of them
So while, it appears that the labor industry is for the most part trending up, many people still live with uncertainty every day. There’s evidence that the country is still in a real crisis.
On October 8, one of the country’s largest mortgage suppliers, Bank of America, put a freeze on foreclosures. In addition, Bank of America, JPMorgan, GMAC, and PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. also put a hold on the sale of foreclosed properties. By placing the hold on these sales, the country may see a temporary rise in the median home price, but that will likely be offset when those home again reach the market for purchase. One of the main problems feared from action though is that many potential homebuyers may delay their decision because of the continued uncertainty in the housing market.
And speaking of delaying major life decisions, it also appears that couples may be putting off the addition of a child to their lives. The birth rate has dropped for two years in a row as couples apparently evaluate their financial position and make the decision to wait until they have more security to bring a child into the world. The birth rate in 2009 was the lowest the United States has seen in a century.
So what does this mean as you search for a job or struggle to keep yours in the volatile economy? It means that companies are being increasingly picky about the employees they hire. Now more than ever having a wide variety of skill sets will assist you in landing a position. The smartest decision right now is for a company to place one person in a position that fills several needs.
You can expect to sit through several interviews with many executives from the company on all different levels. Businesses are increasingly qualifying candidates and in some cases, asking them to complete trial projects at home before choosing the best fit for the position.
It also may mean that you need to be open to new job avenues and opportunities as well as accepting a lower salary rate than what you were making previously. Make sure you update your resume with all of your current skills and certifications and be willing to make some minor salary negotiations.
One of the best tips when speaking with a potential employer about salary is to give an expected salary range of $5,000, and follow that up with the fact that salary is negotiable. The last thing you want is to be passed over for a job and discover that the salary the new person was hired for was something you could have indeed accepted.