Sunday, April 15, 2012

Just what gives with jobs – and should you care?

“Don't dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer”. - Denis Waitley

Job market up ... down … up … stuck. And it goes on and on.

So very confusing . Just when we see light at the end of the tunnel, the tunnel shuts and jobs in the market go down. I report his each week in our region and I have to admit, confusing – but real.

So what gives?

Good question. We ended 2011 on a high with stronger job market and posting activity, a leading indicator of hiring (companies post jobs, interview and hire 30-45 day out). The strong end to 2011 was a flip from the late 2nd quarter and 3rd quarter results that just fizzled as DC lawmakers were stuck and unable to agree on anything, the European markets began to raise a concern and gas prices began to creep up. So, the very strong start of 2011 fizzled in the middle and then ended strong.

Fast forward 2012 …

Here we are in mid-April 2012 and to date, the job market hasn’t caught steam and has been flat. Employers seem to be holding back and waiting more positive signs. Recent stock market performance and renewed European economic concerns are not helping. We should see stronger job growth in March - June – the time of the year when hiring is typically best. As you read this, I have just reported a very good prior seven-day period when job postings jumped 20% in one week for our Region. Also, postings on some days exceeded 2000 – haven’t see that for four months.

And what is ahead?

There are stronger forecasts for the 2nd quarter for the job market. The Business Roundtable CEO Survey found that 42% were planning to hire in the 2nd quarter, up from 35% (that’s 20% higher and the survey can be found at ). Local forecasts mirror this.

Then again, we are the Capital Region …

We cannot ignore that our area is a bit insulated as we do have a strong base of jobs in the public sector (about 24% of the workforce) and plenty happening of a positive growth note – Global Foundries, Albany Nanotech and much, much more. Forbes ranked this Region as #4 in the nation for growth and opportunities – number four – that is huge. Other markets around the country have been hit harder and recovering slower – they don’t have this insulation.

So – what does all this mean to you – the individual seeking a new job or redirecting your career?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

If you get wrapped up in the numbers (like me!), you will get confused and frustrated. No matter if the market is up or down, your singular focus to say the hell with the numbers, and seek out that one opportunity – that one role you want to play in the career you desire – and stay focused on that.

Others will tell you how “bad” things are but don’t listen to them. Be annoying to them – be positive. In the 24 + years I have been in this business, I have seen people advance, grow and prosper under the most dire of conditions and situations.

It just takes being positive, focused, directed and in control.

You can do that.

And thank you for reading this. - Dan

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