Monday, August 2, 2010

Where are the jobs? Confused?

Don’t blame you. On Saturday last week I received a copy of the Albany Business Review and read, page –by-page, the entire section on who is hiring, what employers are looking for etc. There was a survey completed by 23 companies – large and small - and they had over 1200 current job openings. The news was very positive and I believe very well done.

Then comes Sunday and blaring across the front page of the Times Union: Where are the jobs? This article chronicled two people who have had a tough time finding a job, and had been unemployed for a long period of time. We all feel badly for those who haven’t been able to connect to a new job after a layoff or other defining career moment, and I do hope they connect soon. The article then cited national statistics on unemployment, lack of jobs and job growth. References were made to the Capital Region as well. However, the picture painted was bleak at best.

Saturday- there are hundreds of jobs. Sunday - where are the jobs. Makes you scratch your head and wonder – what is the real truth?

The truth, as it normally is, is somewhere in the middle – but leaning more to the positive side. I live this job market every day. I study the trends daily, monitor job opportunities and report to many media outlets in the Region. I cannot claim to be “the” expert, but I believe there are trends that clearly show: Our Region is unique. There are jobs – many very good jobs. It just takes longer and being more aggressive to find them.

Let me add facts:

• 3,500 net jobs were added to the payroll in the Region last month. That is good and a reversal of prior month trends.
• On any given day over the past two weeks, there have been 4800 to close to 6000 job postings on the web board sources. That’s was up from last year (about 3500 on average) and slightly more than July of 2008 before the economy tanked.
• Unemployment in our Region is 6.6% as of the latest report from NYS Dept. of Labor, compared to the State unemployment rate of 8.2% and US rate of 9.5%. The Region rate has been trending down as well.
• Sadly there are 31,000 still unemployed in the region and those who have been unemployed for a number of months seem to be having the most difficult time landing a new job. This is indeed a problem.
• WRBG- CBS6 reports a monthly Employment Index which I compile with the cooperation of the Capital Region Human Resource Association which is a survey of 149 local companies to determine hiring trends. Consistently over 50% of companies surveyed are actively hiring. As well, close to 40% are adding new jobs – that is real job growth. That is huge and the trend strong. The next report will be out this coming week – watch CBS 6 Wednesday between 5 and 6 pm.

As you can see, I am bullish on the Region and our jobs picture compared to where we have been and compared to the nation. Yes we do have employment challenges like any part of the country, but nowhere as severe and we are pulling out of the downturn faster. Our Region has the benefit of a significant workforce in the public sector and smaller employers to buffer the effects of recession – this creates some stability. If the State hiccups and there are layoffs, that will have a significantly negative effect on the region, but we will be through it – we did before.

I hope this helps provide clarity – and maybe some motivation as well! And thank you for reading this. - Dan

Dan Moran
President & Founder
Career Management & Transition Specialists
125 Wolf Road, Suite #128
Albany, NY 12205
Office: 518-261-4212
Cell: 518-641-8968
eFax: 586-279-4212

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