Education Career Services

July 14, 2009

Economic Darwinism: For Better or Worse?

July 13I had the opportunity to check out this Sunday’s employment section and was not impressed by the amount or type of open positions.  I don’t recall the last time this section was such a quick read as I barely had time to take two sips of my tea!  Anyway, after a short pause to shake the thin webs of a one-page print off, I had to find out what was really going on.

Is our employment situation getting better or worse?  To answer that, one must come to an understanding as to what’s really going on.

According to information released this month by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the ratio of job seekers to job openings is slightly above: 5 to 1.  To be specific, there are 5.4 job seekers for every advertised job opening.  Is this a good number or a not so good number and what does it tell us about the better or worse question?  Then again, think about it, the advertised job opening market only represents about 25% of all job openings out there—seems like our first step is one guided by misdirection!

On the other side of the story, the number of job seekers can also be misleading if one is not careful.  From all accounts and from several business economic classes way back in the dark ages, job seeker counts are typically under-recognized.  In other words, government statistics claim the 5.4 seekers for every job advertised but do not take into account those individuals who are passively looking to better themselves or the super-sized number of underemployed conveniently forgotten about by those in control.

I know what you’re saying, numbers are no good unless there is something to compare them with and 5.4 may be a number to strive for.  Unfortunately, we can look at the figures from March (4.8 job seeker for each advertised position) and the numbers from when the recession officially began.  That would be December of 2007 when there were 1.7 job applicants per single job opening.  Hmmm, wonder if further interpretations by me are even necessary?  Are we beginning to get a clear picture of the better or worse question? 

All of this to the side, there remains hope for the applicant who is skilled in the art of career management and self marketing.  Think about it, we seem to be experiencing an economic/employment Darwinist revolution where the fittest not only survive but STRIVE in this new jungle.  True enough, there remains good news amongst the struggles: During the month of April, there were 4,099,000 new hires!

What’s it going to take to be leading the pack?  Continue checking out this blog for guidance and interaction.  Many of our previous submissions are focused to get you through the hard times by offering insight and time-tested approaches to career management.  Thus, review the lessons from submissions posted in the not so distant past…just because a post was presented two weeks (or even six months) ago does not mean it has lost any value.  Take a journey to the beginning; you will find value at such little cost.

Ultimately to answer the question of better or worse, it all depends on you.  For those insisting on defeat and self fulfilling prophecy, don’t let tomorrow pass you by due to your lack of initiative and ability to maximize all resources. 

Help is one the way but your hand must also reach.

Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP
dhuffman@careersi.com
Education Career Services: http://www.educationcs.com
Career Services International: http://www.careersi.com

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