One thing that I didn’t understand during my job search was the unemployment rate. Seems like it was around 3% or 4% when I was looking (right now it’s at a record low 2.5ish% in Utah).
Politicians love this because it means they are doing their jobs wonderfully, and it’s great cause for celebration.
Employers hate it because they say they can’t find their talent (and you hear things like “war for talent” muttered more often).
I imagine recruiters love/hate it because it means more business opportunity for them since employers are more apt to bring them in, but it’s really, really hard to find the right person for the job.
I absolutely hate it because I think it misleads society — hey, if we are at 2.5% in Utah then things are great! We can sustain this forever, can’t we? The term “bubble burst comes to mind. Detroit is going through a huge employment bubble-burst right now.
I also hate it because it discourages those that are in the job search. If there are only 2.5 people out of 100 that can’t find a job, and I’m one of them, what’s wrong with me?
Why does someone talk about this great “job seeker’s market” and I can’t even get a real interview? It must be me, right? That’s what the government and economists are telling me 🙁
This unemployment rate is merely a metric devised by economists to help get a pulse on where we are at with jobs. But it’s just like any other metric – it has it’s problems and I choose to scoff at the rates. It suffers from garbage-in-garbage-out because people that don’t apply for unemployment, or otherwise report it, aren’t counted. It also neglects the huge difference between finding jobs at McDonalds vs. executive or professional positions.
It also neglects people that are unhappily employed, or looking for some other reason. I hear about a lot of people that are not in the “unemployment rate” numbers but are moving around. This is normal stuff, as far as I can see. But the numbers don’t reflect it at all.
Why am I on this subject? Yesterday should have been a really quiet day at JibberJobber. I was expecting record-low signups because of the holiday. But just the opposite happened. I got record-high signups, due to a newsletter that went out to a popular executive job board list. It’s uncommon to get more than 100 signups in one day, but it happened on the Fourth of July … all day long, from early morning and into the night. It was exciting because we continue to grow.
It was discouraging because I realized that there were hundreds of people who are extremely concerned about their careers, enough to take time to (a) read the newsletter, and (b) pick out the expert advice that says “use JibberJobber” and (c) signup for an account.
Maybe that’s a half-glass-empty observation. The flip side is that over 100 people understand long-term career management and are really interested in taking it to the next level.
Ya, maybe that’s it.