Stats for March ’09 and Q2 Job Forecasting


Remember when jobs were plentiful?  So much so that you were able to try a different job every day?  Things were so much easier in kindergarten.  (Obviously, being weather person was my favorite!)  Now, we’re adults in the midst of an economic crisis.  I hate to be a downer, especially on a Friday.  But, the news about the number of Americans suffering unemployment and the lack of job opportunities is only getting worse.  This week, two more bleak reports were released showing no signs of a potential economic upswing in the near future.  I’m afraid we haven’t hit rock bottom yet.  I think we’ll be hearing depressing statistics for at least a few more quarters.  But, don’t get discouraged.  It’s time to get excited and make things!


The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report this morning summarizing the employment situation for March of 2009.

– The unemployment rate rose from 8.1% to 8.5%.

– Since December of 2007, 5.1 million people have lost their jobs. Almost two thirds of these people have lost their jobs in the past five months.

– The number of unemployed workers increased to 13.2 million and the number of long-term unemployed people increased to 3.2 million last month.

– Nine million people are working part-time for economic reasons. There are almost twice as many people who are unemployed and are completing temporary jobs today then there were a year ago. The number of people working temporary jobs increased by 547,000 to 8.2 million in March.

– 8.8% of adult men, 7% of adult women, 7.9% of Whites, 11.4% of Hispanics, 13.3% of Blacks, 6.4% of Asians and 21.7% of teenagers are unemployed.

– In March, the Manufacturing industry lost 161,000 jobs. 126,000 jobs were cut in the construction industry.  The number of jobs in professional and business services dropped by 133,000. 48,000 jobs were eliminated in retail.  Financial jobs fell by 43,000.  Leisure and hospitality employment opportunities were cut by 40,000 jobs.  The transportation and warehousing industry lost 34,000 jobs.

Also this week, CareerBuilder and USA Today released their Q2 2009 US Job Forecast. It highlights six employment trends for employers and job seekers.

1. Trimming Perks And Benefits – 42% of employers cut benefits and perks last quarter and 31% of employers believe they will cut perks and benefits this quarter. The most popular benefits to nix are bonuses, 401k matching and healthcare coverage.

2. Upgrading Talent Rosters – 23% of employers are taking advantage of the surplus of job seekers and are replacing under-performers with more talented employees. Industries where this practice is most common are Sales, Retail, Accounting/Finance and Customer Service.

3. Postponing Retirement – 60% of employees over the age of 60 are postponing retirement because of the down economy’s impact on their long-term savings. Most of these employees say it may take up to six years to recover their lost funds.

4. Transferring Skills – 71% of laid off employees that haven’t found work are looking for employment outside their chosen profession.

5. Relocating – 39% of laid off employees who have not found employment claim they are willing to relocate for an opportunity. 28% of hiring managers say they would offer a relocation package for qualified candidates.

6. Going Back To The Classroom – 21% of workers are going back to school for certifications or formal degrees to make themselves more attractive to employers.

Thomas Delorme
Written by Thomas Delorme

VP, Digital Products & Strategy

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