A Look Back at 2009 Employment

by billmason on May 1, 2010

Remember the shock felt across the country when our email boxes began filling up with breaking news stories of how the unemployment rates hit 7.6%? There was a collective gasp when the news only worsened. 1.8 million jobs had been lost in only ninety days and the numbers had not been so bleak since December 1974. CNN reported how even the industry experts hadn’t anticipated such discouraging numbers; all the while, stories were also breaking of new home prices on the rise and the number of bank failings each week that were exceeding ten, twelve or even fifteen.

Still, despite the bad news, hope was still high America was on the rebound from the recession. A new president was taking office and economists were optimistic. So how did 2009 shape up? Did more of us find well-paying jobs as the year progressed; for that matter, did any of us manage to find any jobs – well-paying or otherwise? Let’s take a walk down memory lane in an attempt to answer these questions.

While the country as a whole remains hopeful, one can’t argue with the hard numbers. By March, unemployment hit double digits and remained hovering between 10 and 11 percent the remaining months of the year. November saw an even 10% in unemployment, which makes many believe things are finally beginning to improve. The goal is for December to finally reveal numbers below 10%. Time will tell. Unfortunately, November also showed a total job loss of more than 293,000 – suggesting that even though the employment outlook may be improving; there is still a long way to go. The statistics can be confusing, especially when looking for straight answers. A. Harrison Barnes, a career coach and lawyer, says it’s important to balance a realistic approach to looking for employment along with remaining more focused on the big picture. Sometimes taking a step back can provide perspective and all too often, we get lost in the details in the midst of a job search.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest the trend that began in 2009 of more service-producing sectors accounting for the workforce while those good-producing positions were expected to decrease apparently has hit its mark. In a report released in early December, 2009, those jobs considered goods-producing have dropped to 12.9% with the remaining 78.8% are found in the service related industries. Indeed, one needs only to stroll through any of the four hundred-plus job fairs held every week throughout the U.S. to recognize those trends.

So what defines a winning strategy in an employment search? Again, A. Harrison Barnes reiterates the importance of remaining focused and ensuring an advantage over others looking for that same perfect job. Consider sites such as EmploymentCrossing.com, which offers jobs not readily found through traditional sources, can be invaluable for the job seeker. While EmploymentCrossing.com does pull from every newspaper’s want-ads, it also incorporates private resources from employers who don’t wish to publicly announce job positions. This is a powerful tool that can ensure a new career, despite the statistics and double digit unemployment rates. The effects of the recession and double digit unemployment numbers can’t continue for much longer, but the right career choice can guarantee your financial future for years to come.

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