Recruiting Blog

Unemployment Rate Unchanged At 9.7% For February

The BLS said that the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.7% in February with 36,000 non-farm payroll jobs lost. Construction and IT were the big losers. Construction in particular lost 64,000 and has lost 1.9 million jobs since the recession started in December 2007. IT lost 18,000 in February and has lost 297,000 since December 2007. Temporary help was the big winner adding 48,000 in February. Health care also continued to trend upward.

Unfortunately, 8.4 million people lost their jobs during the recession that started in December, 2007. In 2009 alone 4.1 million lost their jobs! How bad is it? Employers would need to add 400,000 net new jobs per month for the next 3 years to fully recover from the effects of this recession! Unfortunately, that’s not projected to happen. For example, the president’s first official economic report projects employers adding only 95,000 jobs a month this year. Then adding about 190,000 jobs per month in 2011 and 251,000 a month in 2012. At that rate, unemployment won’t reach 5% this decade!

Newspaper and online help wanted ads only show as little as 20% of the available openings. Many hidden job openings are filled through employee referrals. That is why I recommend networking to uncover a job. I recommend two types of networking: a) actual and b) virtual (e.g. using social media sites like LinkedIn).

My mantra remains, “Think Small” as in small businesses, which have created 64% of the net new jobs in the last 15 years! Unfortunately, start-ups continue to struggle due to a lack of funding. More needs to be done to provide SBA loans, which continue to be only 1% of the overall money lent to small companies!


4 Comments

John Franczyk

March 5, 2010 at 11:19 am

This is no surprise. The Feds have done nothing to spur employment, and in fact everything coming out of D.C. right now has and will continue to have the opposite effect. The state of Illinois and many localities in the state are looking for ways to raise revenues (i.e. tax increases).

The private sector knows that when times are tight, you reduce spending, regardless of how difficult that may be. At some point, the spigot of public spending has to be turned off. People will need to accept significant reductions in services, and the political class will need to grow a backbone in order to adopt and implement those reductions. You need only compare pension benefits for public employees with private sector retirement benefits to understand that the public sector is way behind the times.

Augie Corsico

March 6, 2010 at 10:26 am

Activity has certainly increased since January. Compared to 2009, I am receiving more calls, inquiries on LinkedIn, interviews and an actual offer.

Max Sutherland

March 6, 2010 at 10:27 am

I happen to agree that relying on job board and corporate website postings to find your next job is like winning the lottery. Although there are good positions being posted, there are hundreds of applicants responding for each posting. The strategy today must be through networking for the hidden or non-posted positions. LinkedIn, if used correctly by tapping your contacts and requesting introductions through your expanded network, is a valuable tool. School alumni directories are also great tools that provide you with an immediate commonality. In tough times like this, thinking outside the box to get notice is the #1 rule of the game.

Danielle Eiseman

March 7, 2010 at 11:35 am

I have been sending out resumes for over a year and have not gotten a single call back. I know it’s the economy, that is what I got my master’s in but come on already! People tell me how impressive my resume is but I just can’t seem to get my foot in the door anywhere.

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