Unless you earned a degree in economics, the news reports on how the job market is shaping up can be confusing and frustrating. But if you’re on the hunt for a job, it’s important to understand the current issues surrounding unemployment, hiring, and pay. Here’s a little help looking at the big picture and what it means to you.
According to a recent article in Forbes magazine that took an in-depth look into the unemployment numbers from last month, there has been some slight improvement. The “official October jobless rate fell to 5.8%,” and even the so-called “real unemployment rate,” which includes part-time workers who want to be full-time and people who are too discouraged to look, “fell sharply in October to 11.5% from 11.8% in September.”
Both of those rates are better than this time last year, which is a good sign for job seekers. However, Forbes also reports that almost 4 million non-retired Americans have given up on finding a job and nearly a third of job seekers who have been looking for jobs over the previous month are going on at least six months of joblessness.
“Employers added an estimated 214,000 jobs in October,” according to the same Forbes article. New jobs are always a good sign for job seekers. CareerBuilder’s Fourth Quarter Forecast echoes more good news, as it shows that more than 25% of employers want to hire permanent, full-time workers before the end of the year. And, 43% of retailers and 26% of employers overall plan to hire seasonal staff, which means now is the time to land a seasonal job so you can finish out the year employed. That is especially true considering this other piece of good news from CareerBuilder – almost 50% of companies who hire seasonal workers want to eventually transition some of their seasonal workers into more permanent roles after the holidays.
Across the board, it looks like the average pay rate is going to remain about the same, which means you’re not likely going to see a pay raise or a pay cut anytime soon. CareerBuilder found that, in regard to seasonal workers, 27% of employers will pay more than last year, while 13% will pay less. This mimics what Forbes has to say about October’s average earnings. There was a miniscule increase of 0.1% in average pay from September to October, with only a 2% increase over the entire year. So, as the worker, it’s up to you to decide if you want to see the glass as half empty or half full.
Overall, the numbers and reports seem to paint a decent picture for people on the job hunt. Companies are hiring, and, while you might not land the full-time position you were hoping for just yet, the holiday season has provided plenty of opportunities to boost your resume and add more money to your bank account. And that’s always a good thing.
What’s your job hunt experience been like lately? Do you think it’s getting easier or more difficult to find a job? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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