These are troubling times in the job market. No doubt about that. Nearly 15 million Americans are looking for work. The unemployment rate is holding steady at 9.6%. No one has a firm idea as to when this situation will improve.
The reasons cited for this horrendous condition include lack of consumer spending (i.e. confidence), plus uncertainty about what the government will do about taxes and regulation, as well as changes in environmental policies.
There are other facts not so often mentioned.
One, many employers are trying to squeeze more output from their existing workforce.
Two, employers are being super selective, looking for the cream of the crop.
Three, there is a shortage of people qualified for the new jobs in world of technology that is emerging.
At the same time, some companies say that when they do try to hire they have a difficult time locating the right people. Extended unemployment benefits could make people less willing to accept the jobs that are available. For others, troubles with mortgage and poor credit ratings make it tough for people to relocate for jobs.
David Haffner, CEO at a company that makes metal parts for bedding and other uses, sums it up when he declares his company is hesitant about any kind of expansion, because it’s unclear when and how the market will come back.
“With more experienced talent in these challenging times, we are utilizing a more rigorous screening and interviewing protocol. We feel it is crucial to add top graded talent.”
No matter how bitter the pill may be, there are some lessons to be learned for the country’s economy to recover.
One is that the dismal condition of the job market will not be improved by the government throwing money at the problem and passing laws and regulations that impede the health of businesses.
Another lesson is that recovery of the economy requires a massive retraining of the work force. Jobs, once accomplished by hands-on labor, will be done by computers in the future. The provision of this kind of training will be heavily dependent on enlightened government policies and funding.
No matter your political affiliation, you can help by making your voice heard in demanding action on these critical issues in Washington and in your local government.
I wish you career success!
Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach