Time Magazine on Labor Day, Unemployment and Stress

September 10th, 2009

I should have run this on Monday (Labor Day), but oh well…

I saw an article on cnn/Time.com called For Unemployed, Labor Day Another Stressful Day.  Yup, I’d have to agree.  I want to pull out some parts of the article and comment on them.  Sorry for the negative post and thoughts… I guarantee tomorrow will be 1,000% positive!

>> The nearly 15 million unemployed Americans won’t enjoy Labor Day as a relaxing respite from work

Ah, there you go – how many competitors do you have?  15M.

>> “It’s hard to maintain your focus that you’re a valuable member of society when you go three months and nobody really wants to employ you,” says…

Try being unemployed for 4 months.  Or 10.  Or 24.  Won’t happen to you?  Perhaps not, but I’d suggest a healthy dose of career preparation.

>> The economy is showing signs of being on the mend. Yet that’s hardly reassuring to the unemployed this Labor Day weekend. The job market is in lousy shape and will stay that way for a while.

Absolutely right.  Economists are optimistic that good stuff is coming… but if you think good stuff is going to happen the day they say it will, you are mistaken.  Check out my webinar with Mark Hovind where he talks about the idea of when the recession is over, and when we can feel the effects of not being in a recession anymore.  These two things don’t happen on the same day.

>> And it could take four years or more for the unemployment rate to fall back down to a normal level of about 5 percent.

Ah yes, now we are talking sensibly.  Let me put this into perspective – are you ready for a crappy 4 years, with so many unemployed, companies not investing or spending, etc.?  Waiting for the economy to correct itself might not be a strong job search strategy.

>> Labor Secretary Hilda Solis’ advice to the unemployed: “I would tell those workers and families not to lose sight of hope.” She urges them to seek the skills, education and training needed for new jobs. But she acknowledges these are tough times.

Thanks for the advice Hilda.  Attitude is critical – but many are beyond “losing sight of hope.”

My advice to job seekers can be found here: Career Management Tips While At College (not just for college kids), and:

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9 Responses to “Time Magazine on Labor Day, Unemployment and Stress”

  1. Marc Himmelberger says:

    90.5% EMPLOYMENT!

    Every employer is hiring! EVERY!

    List 5 employers that YOU would LOVE to work for!
    Then list 5 positions in each one of those companies. Likely, your first position will be filled by
    the folks in positions 2 thru 4. Positions 2 thru 4 are the positions that YOU want to PURSUE.

    PURSUE! That is what you MUST do.

    Not…
    LOOK! APPLY! MAIL! EMAIL! FAX!

    That is what “THEY” want you to do.

    PURSUE!

    I bet just about now!
    You are concerned about the money?
    O.K. But money is just a way of keeping score!

    You weren’t worried about the money in your last position?

    You were worth at least a third more then you were making and you didn’t seem to complain or change employers/careers.

    So, stop feeling sorry for yourself and dragging yourself down.

    “There has NEVER been an Olympic athlete who has trained for the bronze!”

    PURSUE!

    GOD Bless

    Marc

  2. Teena Rose says:

    Labor Day was definitely different this year. Just by scanning the neighborhood, we saw few park picnics and obvious family gatherings (you know, loads of cars lining streets and packed into small driveways).

    I greatly enjoyed Mark Hovind’s webinar, btw, if I didn’t mention that to you before Jason. It was exceptionally insightful; and having attended it, I now understand and believe the above point about 4 or more years may be needed to realign the unemployment rate.

    I have a question for you Jason … and if anyone can answer, you can, seeing as how you have an IT background. Do you know how long it took for the IT industry to realign when that bubble burst? I’m sure there wasn’t 15 million IT professionals (was there?) unemployed back then, but …

    As usual, great blog post. Thanks Jason.

    Regards,
    @teenarose

  3. Jason Alba says:

    Well thank you Teena :) I’m going to reach out to one of my colleagues, a recruiter in the Silicon Valley area, to weigh in on this…

  4. [...] few days ago I wrote Time Magazine on Labor Day, Unemployment and Stress and Teena Rose asked a really interesting question in the comments: I have a question for you Jason [...]

  5. [...] Blog. Posted under Job Search, Technology on September 16th, 2009 A few days ago I wrote Time Magazine on Labor Day, Unemployment and Stress and Teena Rose asked a really interesting question in the comments: I have a question for you Jason [...]

  6. Mark Hovind says:

    This is for Teena’s question, “Do you know how long it took for the IT industry to realign when the bubble burst?”

    One could easily argue that the IT sector did not recover, and instead has been declining ever since the bubble. Here are the numbers:

    * March 2001 peak at 3.7 million employees.
    * March 2004 3.1 million employees.
    * March 2007 3.0 million employees.
    * August 2009 2.8 million employees.

    Having said that, one could also argue that the “bubble” burst in early 2000, started losing jobs in mid-2001, declined rapidly thru early 2002, continued to lose jobs until 2007, and then stopped losing jobs in mid-2007 – a 7-year recovery period. However, in late-2007, it started declining again.

    There is a picture of the bubble and the recovery curve on the Switching Industries page of JobBait.com.

  7. Teena Rose says:

    Thanks for the statistics, Mark. You are a treasure trove of great, valuable information! =]

    With your expertise, can you speculate how long it will take for US jobs to elevate back to the levels we saw between 2005/2006? I realize you don’t have a crystal ball. But, I’m curious what you think about recovery time for this latest economic turmoil — specifically, attractive job growth, # of available jobs, and an acceptable 5% unemployment level.

    Maybe 3 times longer than the IT industry took? 5 times? 10 times longer?

    Regards,
    @teenarose

  8. Marc Himmelberger says:

    NEVER!

    We will NEVER see the numbers as high as they once were.

    When will we see the “old” number of farmers back?
    When will we see the “old” number of factory workers back?

    We are – CAPITALISTS!

    Industries change and we need to position ourselves for that change.

    Our nation’s number one export? TECHNOLOGY!
    You don’t need trains and ships and workers to export that.

    How many workers does it take to build a car? How many did it once take?

    NOW!
    Employers have discovered that they CAN produce with fewer numbers. Why would they ever go
    back? That is not capitalistic! And, employees are willing to support that in order to hold on to
    anything that they have. I once worked with 15! Now, there are three! And, when my supervisor
    retires this month – then there were two!

    PURSUE!

    GOD Bless

    Marc

  9. Mark Hovind says:

    Hi Teena. My analysis of recovery times is on the page we reviwed in our telecon – the one you originally attended. The page is now hidden since it’s out of date, but you can still find it at http://jobbait.com/a/recession.htm. Mark

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