May’s Unemployment Number: What Happened?
The unemployment rate from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, released Friday morning, did not tend to the hopes and dreams of American workers. For the third consecutive month, disappointing unemployment rates have been revealed. Even worse, this time a rise in unemployment from 8.1 percent to 8.2 percent was reported.
This month, Wall Street and stocks took a huge tumble as a result of the unrecovered economy and job seekers’ uncertainty continues to grow as their hope for the future becomes bleak. What happened in May and more importantly, what should job seekers do?
Like any issue, especially political, the opinions are endless. But, if we dig deeper into the data, we notice that new job creation did not keep pace with the number of people either (1) working, or (2) looking for a job; this number is called the Civilian Labor Force. In fact, the Civilian Labor Force is the highest it has been in the last 8 years.
The number of people unemployed (those not working, able to work and have searched for a job in the last 4 weeks) increased slightly from 12.5M to 12.72M (bump in 220k), from April 2012 to May 2012. This was not the change in numbers predicted by many. The real culprit appears to be the number of people attempting to look for jobs who have yet to find one.
What can job seeker’s do?
With more people flooding the job market, competition is only going to become more fierce. The numbers can be high-level – if a job opening has 150 initial candidates, it may now have 200. From the job seeker’s perspective, the chances of landing your next job becomes slightly harder, but the challenge still remains the same as previous months– you want to get into the final 5-10 candidates for as many opportunities as you can. Keep yourself in the running and constantly apply for positions you are a fit. Continue to be aware of your options for it is the long-term unemployed (those looking for work for more than 6 months) who have the most difficulty finding jobs.
For certain, job growth in the U.S. is clearly feeble. For an economy supposedly in recovery mode, the report did not provide the proof behind that belief. Unfortunately, the rising unemployment rate has taken the certainty of Americans’ hopes along with it.
The waiting game continues for a brighter future. What do you think job seekers can do to avoid being the next increase in the United States’ unemployment rate?