Generation-Y has been rather unlucky in the sense that as soon as we were entering the job market, the market was slowly closing its doors. It’s a depressing thought, but at the same time I believe it is pushing many people to think outside the box and to begin working on start-ups — which is a good thing. Innovation never hurts.
Many of us, however, never dreamt of taking on the world of business behind the reins and would prefer to work for someone else. Fair enough. But with the job market looking as shitty as it has for the past few years, many have simply given up looking altogether.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has recently released job growth numbers for the month of March. While most economists expected the unemployment rate to stay at 7.7%, the actual rate dropped down a notch to 7.6% — even though 500,000 people dropped out of the job market altogether.
This is good news in a sense; there ought to actually be a lot more jobs available now — as well as a whole lot less people out there looking for a job. Though knowing that half a million people dropped out of the labor market is a bit disheartening, it also means that there are more opportunities out there and less competition.
More jobs and fewer people looking for work means that — depending on your industry — you will likely find a job a bit more easily now. Whether or not the jobs created are in your vicinity or in your field of choosing is a different question. But now there at least is hope.
The numbers that the Bureau published indicate that the actual jobs created in March were significantly lower than in previous months, with only 88,000 new jobs being created across all sectors in comparison to an average of about 200,000 new jobs created in the previous couple of months. Nevertheless, experts say not to read into this one-month drop too much. Economists still have a very positive outlook for the remainder of this year as well as for 2014.
"Payrolls can be very volatile from month to month," said Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, who predicts that monthly jobs figures will average around 175,000 for the remainder of the year. "I'm not inclined to panic over one 88,000 number."
Economists believe that employers will add as much as 2.24 million new jobs this year as well as another 2.4 million next year. Likewise, they believe the unemployment rate to continue to lessen to the 7.4% mark by the end of this year and hopefully down to 6.4% by the end of 2014.
This would be great news considering that the Federal Reserve refuses to increase interest rates until the unemployment rate drops to under 6.5%. Once the interest rate starts to increase, so does the morale of the nation as a whole. Meaning people will begin to spend more money and more and more jobs will begin to open up in the upcoming years.
Many people feared that the federal budget cuts, which began this March, would greatly affect the payroll figures, but that doesn’t seem to have been the case. The federal government, not including the U.S. Postal Service only removed 2,200 positions. Nevertheless, the cuts are affecting businesses — not so much directly as through the damaging of morale.
In other words, businesses are worrying about hiring too many new workers for fear of the economic state worsening and then having no choice but to let go of more employees. This, however, I believe will begin to change in the next year or so.
As the economy begins to slowly better, so will the morale of consumers and business owners alike. Nothing creates more jobs than the belief that doing so will bring more profit. Once consumers begin to believe they are back to good times, they will be more willing to buy ‘luxury’ items, which will in turn brighten the days of business owners.
The time to regroup and get back into that job market with a vengeance may not as of yet be upon us. The retail sector, unfortunately, has seen a loss of some 24,000 jobs and the U.S. Postal service dropped 12,000 employees. So although the sector has seen a growth of 32,000 jobs a month for the last half-a-year or so, it doesn’t seem like we made it out of the shrubbery as of yet.
Nevertheless, things are heading in the right direction and are likely to turn around fully in the next 2 to 3 years. Now may not be the time to get back into actively looking into the job market, but it would be a good idea to begin skimming and prepping.
Getting ahead of the game now will help you stay ahead in the coming months. Keep a positive outlook on the future and start making the connections you need to make in order to have the right people to contact when the time is right — when companies are beginning to understand that they are going to need to get more people onboard. The future is looking brighter, use that knowledge to your advantage.
Paul Hudson | Elite.
For more from Paul, follow him on Twitter @MrPaulHudson