Sunday, October 20, 2013

Really – what is up with the job market …

He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lampposts - for support rather than for illumination.  ~Andrew Lang
It can make you crazy (and I live by these numbers and trends):
  • Job market down
  • Job market up
  • Good month for jobs
  • Bad month for jobs
Every report adds a level of confusion and one does not know what to believe. I thought I would provide some clarity in this week’s blog – to a situation that is as clear as mud! I track the job market nationally, regionally and statewide daily and report weekly to the media (if you would like to see the weekly report that is issued Wednesday night, connect with me on Facebook:

First, the fundamentals
The job market reports that you hear on the news or read about from the Fed are never accurate. They can’t be given the way they measure the number of new jobs very month. One would think it is a national count of unemployment claims less the number of people who went off unemployment – that would yield a valid number.
But is in not the way the fed determines the unemployment rate or number of new jobs. Rather, it is a telephone survey of households and based upon the manner in which the questions are answered, one is classified as:
  • Employed
  • Unemployed
  • Unemployed and no longer looking for work
The first two are simple – the last one baffling. If one reports that they are unemployed and no longer looking for work, they are no longer counted as unemployed. They are counted as leaving the workforce. Really?
So the jobs report is released at 8:30 am on the first Friday of the month, the Stock Market reacts, the President speaks or does not speak (depending upon the data) and that is it. What you need to watch, however, is the adjustment 30 days later – the number of new jobs usually goes down and the number of unemployed goes up and sometimes the adjustment is huge, but not reported. This happens because states report their actual data.
So is it accurate – not likely. Is it a trend indicator – yes. The trend is an improved but still sluggish job market nationally. We are far better than a few years back, but not adding enough jobs to reduce the unemployment rate with gusto (there needs to be 150,000 new jobs monthly just to hold the unemployment rate steady – 250,00 is considered a good number; the nation have been in the 150-160,000 level for several months).

But what about us – in the Capital Region?
Time to bring this to our neighborhood.  We are in a bubble of sorts and let me give you the facts:
  • The Capital Region, defined  a 50 mile radius of Albany, is the strongest job market in the state and one of the strongest in the country right now and has been.
  • On a per population and per employer base, our region leads the state in new job opportunities. We consistently beat Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse by a wide margin week over week. NY City is not included – the size dwarfs the state.
  • On a given week there are somewhere north of 1800 to 2200 jobs available in our region. That is usually 25% to 35% higher than the previous mentioned markets, and those markets are 30-35% larger than the Capital Region.
  • Our region is still down from pre-recession levels when we would routinely see over 3500 to 4000 jobs. The national job market is down 45% still.  It is very clear: employers are not hiring unless they absolutely need to, and technology is replacing jobs.
Soooo … what does this mean to you if you are looking for a job or thinking about beginning a search or career change?

Absolutely nothing. You cannot be influenced by the numbers, and you cannot change them. You just need to have resolve to change your situation in employment, commit to taking the actions you need to, and you will be successful. It is confidence, diligence and a winning attitude – that makes the difference. Don’t  get hung up with what you read or hear –out it aside.

I know the naysayers will beat me up for thisbut our region (and we are not smalbany anymore!) is booming with new businesses and yes jobs. Good jobs – good paying jobs.
Resolve to succeed, and you will. And thank you for reading this. – Dan

PS: I posted this week’s job report below … Again, if you would like to see the post weekly, connect with me on facebook:

October 16, 2013

For Immediate Release
For information: Dan Moran, 518-641-8968

Job Market Continues Slump – Unrest in Washington continues to be the cause

Albany, NY,  October 16, 2013) –  Job postings continued to be in a slump, but the good news – the numbers are steady but still down. “It appears that the lingering fears and uncertainty about the government shutdown and debt ceiling were weighing heavy on decisions to continue hiring. With some level of resolve even short-term, we may see an upswing – but difficult to forecast as we could, as well, stay in a slump until final resolve. This, combined with uncertainty over the Affordable Health Care Act is having a negative effect on hiring, as forecasters predicted”,  stated Dan Moran, of Next-Act (, a career transition management firm located in Colonie.

“While the numbers are flat, our Region is doing much better with jobs than other markets in NYS and compared to markets of similar size across the Northeast. Our Region is still the shining star for sure, fueled by growth of the technology sector”.

Postings in the region were 1,893, up very, very slightly from  1825 the week prior. This comes on the heels of a sharp 16% decline the week before last which was  rather significant.  

Other markets in NYS posted similar results flat results this past week.  The Capital Region continues to still outpace Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, all larger markets with more employers and population.  

National Job Scene

Nationally the market is as well flat with 547,000  job postings reported. This is also on the heels of a steep 19% dive the week prior when postings were 559,000 and 619,00 two weeks ago.  


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