2017 may just prove to be the “perfect storm” for job seekers.
Business optimism is on the rise. Small and medium sized businesses that do most of the hiring are reporting interest in adding more staff. This could be due to the change in administrations and the promises made during the presidential campaign of lowering taxes, replacing the Affordable Care Act with something less burdening on business / more affordable with better coverage for the individual, and eliminating many regulations that are stifling business growth.
The average GDP growth since the end of the recession has been a paltry 2.1% as reported in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, January 27, 2017. This has been the worst recovery from a recession since World War 2. Typical after a recession ends, the recovery would grow about as steep as the recession was, just in the upward direction. This time due to government meddling, the economy flat lined.
The rise in optimism and projected hiring will mean a lot more jobs available. This is a good thing. More people working, more economic activity = Growth.
The Labor Force Participation Rate
Rarely does the media talk about this number; Labor Force Particpation. They are more interested in reporting the U3 unemployment rate. Currently 4.8% nationally with ticked up from 4.4% in November 2016. This number does not tell the whole story. The U6 rate talks about people that are unemployed and others that have stopped looking, in December the number was 9.8%. That is up from 9.0% in November.
The number of jobs being created has been barely enough to take up the new people entering the workforce; 150,000 per month high school and college grads. Anything over 150,000 is good. I know the past administration talks about how they created 12 million new jobs. Well they don’t say if they are full time or part time jobs…just like the monthly jobs numbers. And that 12 million really doesn’t do anything for the 14 million people tossed out of work in 2009-10, or the 14 million new people that came into the work force the past 8 years.
Meanwhile the Labor Force Participation rate, which measures the number of people working against those not working rose to 62.7%; a tenth of a percent increase. This may not sound like much but that small increase can mean thousands of people returning to the work force, looking for jobs.
So if more than 150,000 jobs were created in December, why did the U3 number go up??? More people coming out from the sidelines looking for work and now they are counted in the U3 rate.
The Perfect Storm
Why do I call this the coming “perfect storm” for the job seeker?
The competition for available positions will increase! As a job seeker you need to prepare yourself for this. There will be more people chasing the jobs that will be opening up. You need to sharpen your skills to become the best possible candidate for the job.
The 80/20 rule
The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Well in the job market, 80% of the jobs are never advertised and 20% are. Do not let yourself be satisfied with going after only the 20% that you can see. The hidden job market is four times bigger at 80%. There will competition for those job as well, but not as much as other job seekers will be chasing only the known jobs or the 20%.
OK, you ask, “how can I find the jobs that are hidden?” One Word – Networking.
February is Networking Month at the OCN
Be sure to come to the meetings in February, we will be taking a closer look at networking.
Sharpen Your Job Hunting Skills
Starting in March, the Career Transition Workshop begins. This is where you will learn all the needed tactics to create yourself into the best possible candidate.
Check the Calendar for more information.