In the News, Watercooler

Jobs News Round Up

With so much news out there about the state of employment, we thought it would be a good time to review highlights of the latest reports, which have implications for anyone in the job market or thinking about jumping in.

Jobs Reports Highlights:

Unemployment holds steady yet millions of job opportunities are out there.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment rate holds at 9.6%; while BLS also reports that there are more than 3 million job openings.

Government layoffs were high in September, while hiring in the private sector was weak.

September was the fourth straight month in which the economy has lost jobs. The Associated Press reported:

  • Layoffs of government workers, including temporary Census Bureau employees, drove the decline. Most census jobs have already expired, but others have lasted longer.
  • In all, the economy shed 159,000 jobs in the public sector, including 76,000 at the local level, most of them teachers. It was the largest cut by local governments in 28 years.
  • Private businesses added only 64,000 positions last month, only about half what it takes to keep up with the growing work force.

Housing market woes tie down job seekers and depress unemployment rates.

In another Associated Press article, many of the fast-growing U.S. areas during the housing boom are now yielding some of the biggest income drops in the economic downturn. Nationally, the government reported last month that median household incomes dipped to $49,777, the lowest since 1997, with the sharpest drop-offs in the Midwest and Northeast.

  • In a CNN Money interview, Narayana Kocherlakota, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis recently said in a speech that “one of the reasons for the worsening imbalance [between unemployment and job openings] is that so many underwater homeowners who can’t sell their houses are unable to move in search of job opportunities.”

Employees are more pessimistic about job security, pay raises, company outlook and job market.

According to a recent Glassdoor Employment Confidence survey, just 38 percent of employees and self-employed people said that they expected their firm’s prospects to improve in the next six months. Also, as a result of the slowdown that took hold over the summer, the proportion of people who are concerned about being laid off in the next six months rose from 16 to 20 percent.  Further, more employees do not expect a pay raise in the next 12 months than in recent quarters.

If you have questions and are looking for career advice and/or tips on how to improve the effectiveness of your job search, leave a comment below. Glassdoor’s panel of career experts will be happy to respond.