Home > Recruiting > Random Thoughts On Recruiting – Does The Unemployment Rate Mean Anything To Us?

Random Thoughts On Recruiting – Does The Unemployment Rate Mean Anything To Us?

This week we got more unemployment statistics.  Some people say they are confusing or conflicting.  I think they are just kind of blah.  The unemployment rate went up to around 9%, but private sector hiring is up a decent amount. 

The statistics are always a bit massaged as they don’t include those who have stopped looking, so we definitely have a lot more than 9% of the population not working.  From what we’ve seen in the past, the level of unemployment is not as important as the trend.  If we have high unemployment but it is getting better, then for those of us in recruiting things are good.  If we have a low rate of unemployment but things are getting worse, then things are rough for us.  Things in recruiting are pretty good right now.  Not rip roaring great, but pretty good.  The bad thing is, it does seem like we are establishing a level in the post bubble world that is not great.

The additional hiring this month was in service and other similar industries.  Not in manufacturing or any production of goods and not in construction.  Twenty years ago or so we started to lose a lot of manufacturing jobs and that never recovered, at least not yet.  Many of those folks who left manufacturing went to construction and during the constrution boom that kept a good number of them employed.  But now that is gone and it really doesn’t show any signs of returning.  Of course we will always have construction, but we also have to realize that this was a once in a lifetime bubble in that area so we’re not going anywhere near those levels again.  So what will take up the slack?  Can manufacturing come back? 

The world still turns and, for those of us in recruiting, as we establish the level of business and employment in the post bubble world, things may continue to be pretty good.  We’re finding our right size as the rest of the business world finds its right size.  However, a society at this level of unemployment for the long haul can’t be real healthy.  It will create a big welfare class or a big lower class.  So does the unemployment rate mean anything to those of us in recruiting?  Absolutely.  Better business conditions and more people doing well is always better for us.

Todd Kmiec

Todd Kmiec and Associates


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