Unemployment Contradictions

This morning I read about my state (Utah), with an unemployment rate 1 point lower than the national unemployment rate, needing to make accommodations for the new workforce – in short, it is a job seeker’s market. And everyone thinks that it is going to stay this way for a while, that this is not a short-term deal.

Even recruiters that I talk with tell me about how tight the job market is, and how finding talent is and will be very difficult for years to come.

That is the great news.

But what’s up with this Intel announcement to layoff 1,000 MANAGEMENT jobs?? That is going to be a lot of families impacted. Maybe they’ll be absorbed right into the great economy.


Many won’t – it may be their first time in a serious job search and they may be as ill-prepared as I was. Here is a site that tracks some of the layoffs – it is not comprehensive but it gives you a feel that it is common practice! Moral of the story is you are always vulnerable. If you don’t believe that come with me to my network meetings on Monday and Tuesday mornings and I’ll introduce you to some extremely high-talent, high earning (well, previously high-earning – they are out of work now!) execs and managers that are finding out what “its a job seeker’s market” really means.

Check out this little summary of articles from today on MSNBC… in the business section – isn’t that a lot of articles on layoff and cuts in such a great economy?

My take on this whole thing is HOORAY for the great economy, and all the companies that are looking for top talent. But there are still going to be people that aren’t picked up right away, and find themselves unemployed for extended periods of time.

Have you ever heard of the starfish story? The one where the boy is on a beach, walking amongst tens of thousands of starfish and tossing some in the ocean… and old man walks by and basically says “you can’t make a difference” and the boy tossed another one and said “I made a difference to that one.”

I don’t care how good the unemployment rate is – in my state it is about 3.5%. That means there are 50,000 – read fifty thousand – people that are unemployed. Sure there are the multi-generation folks but there are some very highly talented folks that are out of work.

Imagine yourself as a starfish, on the beach, and there are only 50,000 of you (as is the case in utah). That isn’t very many, it could be millions. But it sure does suck to be one of the 50,000, doesn’t it? Is it your fault you are here? Was it preventable? What do you do now?

If you think it is a job seeker’s market try out your luck. But if you have ever been seriously out of work you should cringe at the idea of again being “unemployed for extended periods of time.”

So…. (shameless plug coming…) get an account on JibberJobber and begin to use it. Start to actively manage your own career, and if the pink slip comes you won’t be unprepared.