“Job loss in U.S. worst since 1945” was the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's newspaper headline yesterday. It seems as if media reports concerning the job market and unemployment are becoming increasingly dismal each day. Is it really that bad? Here are some examples of what I’ve been witnessing from southeast Wisconsin concerning the job market:
- My niece’s boyfriend graduated in May with a graphic arts degree from a prestigious art school. He interviewed with 27 different advertising agencies before receiving a second interview and ultimately a job offer. This occurred in early December. HR representatives told him companies have slashed their advertising budgets by 40%. This has been a humbling experience and he is grateful to finally have a permanent position.
- My company laid-off our first female salesperson for failing to meet her sales goals last fall. I blogged about her here. This was a real disappointment because she was our first female salesperson and also because it's rumored she didn't really try. Supposedly, she refused to follow up on sales leads. What was she thinking? Now she is unemployed in this economy.
- My company made a job offer to a candidate for the above position. He was looking to make a career change from inside sales to outside. After reviewing our benefit and salary package, he decided to stay where he was. He wasn’t willing to take the risk of working on a commission basis with fewer benefits in today’s economy.
- Our HR department reposted the advertisement for the above job on various internet web-sites; one day’s worth of resumes utilized an entire ream of paper and then some. The applicants come from the banking and mortgage industries, land development and recent college grads.
- While listening to a recent radio talk show, I heard the nursing industry is actively recruiting in the Milwaukee area. Nurses are in such short supply at the Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare in the Milwaukee-area city of Glendale that they gave $50 gas cards to experienced nurses just for showing up for an interview.
Last year, Kiplinger.com ran a feature about recession-proof careers. These fields include healthcare, education, security, environmental science and government. If your area of expertise can be performed in any sector such as IT, HR or accounting be sure to include the above sectors in your job search.
The headline in yesterday's paper is deceiving; our country's population is substantially larger today than it was in 1945. When comparing the percentage of individuals losing their jobs with the countries total population, the actual jobs lost was much worse in 1945 than it is today. In saying that and despite certain sector hiring, it appears that this is a challenging, humbling and scary job market for many individuals searching for new employment.