The unemployment rate is published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a division of the US Department of Labor. The rate is found by dividing the number of unemployed by the total civilian labor force. On February 7th, 2014, the BLS published the most recent unemployment rate for January, 2014 of 6.6% (actually it is 6.584%, down .097% from 6.681% in December, 2013).
The unemployment rate was determined by dividing the unemployed of 10,236,000 (—down from the month before by 115,000—since January, 2013 this number has decreased by 2,079,000) by the total civilian labor force of 155,460,000 (up by 523,000 from December, 2013). Since January 2013, our total civilian labor force has decreased by 239,000 workers.
(The continuing ‘Strange BLS Math’ saga): The BLS continues to increase the total Civilian Noninstitutional Population—this time up to 246,915,000. In one year’s time this population has increased by 2,252,000. This is an increase of 170,000 from last month’s increase. The Civilian Noninstitutional Population has increased each month…
Up from December 2013 by 170,000
Up from November 2013 by 178,000
Up from October 2013 by 186,000
Up from September 2013 by 213,000
Up from August 2013 by 209,000
Up from July 2013 by 203,000
Up from June 2013 by 204,000
Up from May 2013 by 189,000
Up from April 2013 by 188,000
Up from March 2013 by 180,000
Up from February 2013 by 167,000
Up from January 2013 by 165,000
Up from December 2012 by 313,000
Up from November 2012 by 176,000
Up from October 2012 by 191,000
Up from September 2012 by 211,000
Up from August 2012 by 206,000
Up from July 2012 by 212,000
Up from June 2012 by 199,000
Up from May 2012 by 189,000
Up from April 2012 by 182,000
Up from March 2012 by 180,000
Up from February 2012 by 169,000
Up from January 2012 by 335,000
Up from December 2011 by 2,020,000
And this month the BLS has decreased the Civilian Labor Force to 155,460,000 (up from December by 523,000).
Subtract the second number (‘civilian labor force’) from the first number (‘civilian noninstitutional population’) and you get 91,455,000 ‘Not in Labor Force’—slightly better than last month’s 91,808,000. Since January, 2013, 2,492,000 US workers have vanished! Where did those 2,492,000 potential workers disappear to in one year’s time? I am assuming they still have to eat and pay their rent. They still need money, don’t they? The government tells us that these NILFs got discouraged and just gave up looking for a job. My monthly recurring question is: “If that is the case, how do they live when they don’t earn any money because they don’t have a job? Are they all relying on the government to support them??”
Our Employment Participation Rate—the population 16 years and older working or seeking work—rose .2% to 63.0%. This is the third lowest Employment Participation Rate recorded—since April 1978…just over one year into President Carter’s term of office, 36 years ago! One year ago, our Participation Rate in December was 63.6%.
Final take on these numbers: Fewer people looking for work will always bring down the unemployment rate.
Anyway, back to the point I am trying to make. On the surface, these new unemployment rates are scary, but let’s look a little deeper and consider some other numbers.
The unemployment rate includes all types of workers—construction workers, government workers, etc. We recruiters, on the other hand, mainly place management, professional and related types of workers. That unemployment rate in January was 3.1% (this rate rose .2% from last month’s 2.9%). Or, you can look at it another way. We usually place people who have college degrees. That unemployment rate in January was 3.2% (this rate fell .1% from last month’s 3.3%).
Now stay with me a little longer. This gets better. It’s important to understand (and none of the pundits mention this) that the unemployment rate, for many reasons, will never be 0%, no matter how good the economy is. Without boring you any more than I have already, let me add here that Milton Friedman (the renowned Nobel Prize-winning economist), is famous for the theory of the “natural rate of unemployment” (or the term he preferred, NAIRU, which is the acronym for Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment). Basically, this theory states that full employment presupposes an ‘unavoidable and acceptable’ unemployment rate of somewhere between 4-6% with it. Economists often settle on 5%, although the “New Normal Unemployment Rate” has been suggested to fall at 6.7%.
Nevertheless (if you will allow me to apply a ‘macro’ concept to a ‘micro’ issue), if this rate is applied to our main category of Management, Professional and Related types of potential recruits, and/or our other main category of College-Degreed potential recruits, we are below the 4-6% threshold for full employment…we find no unemployment! None! Zilch!
Daily News, January 22, 2014
French workers are the most likely to say they have a “career” rather than “just a job,” while U.S. workers came in 3rd in the ranking, according to a survey released today by Monster Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: MWW) and market research company GfK.
The survey asked the question, “Do you view the work you do to be a career or just a job?” The following answers were received in the U.S.:
• Just a job: 41%
• A career: 57%
• Don’t know: 1%
America’s younger generations are the least likely to be career-minded, with 62% of those aged 18 to 35 stating they consider their employment as just a job rather than being part of a longer term career plan, compared with 28% of those aged 36 to 44 and 31% aged 45 to 54.
Here’s a list by country of those responding who said they view the work they do as a career rather than just a job:
1. France: 70%
2. Canada: 69%
3. United States: 57%
4. UK: 43%
5. India: 43%
6. Netherlands: 38%
7. Germany: 25%
The survey included more than 8,000 people in Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, U.K. and U.S. It included 511 employed in the U.S.
Daily News, January 10, 2014
More U.S. workers plan to change jobs in 2014, according to a survey by CareerBuilder. It found that 21 % of full-time employees plan to change jobs in 2014, up from 17% last year. The percent of workers planning to change jobs this year is the highest in the post-recession era.
The survey also found fewer workers are satisfied with their jobs — falling to 59% this year from 66% last year.
“Offering frequent recognition, merit bonuses, training programs and clearly defined career paths are important ways to show workers what they mean to the company,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. “In general, however, when more workers change jobs, it’s usually a sign the labor market is warming up.”
The CareerBuilder survey included 3,008 employed U.S workers.
Daily News, January 14, 2014
More than half of U.S. workers plan to look for a new job this year, according to a survey released today by executive search firm Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY). Of those surveyed, 57.1% said they will be looking for a better position in 2014. Meanwhile, 74.4% said they have or would consider taking a temporary job if a full-time position wasn’t available.
The survey also found that 65.9% of those now in jobs are optimistic about the 2014 economic outlook.
More money ranked as the top reason to explore new career opportunities in 2014, cited by 48.0% of respondents, followed by career advancement at 27.1%.
The survey was conducted in November 2013 and included nearly 300 employed adults in the United States.
Daily News, January 28, 2014
Retained search consultants around the globe are much more optimistic about the search industry going into 2014 than they were going into 2013, according to the Association of Executive Search Consultants’ 2014 Executive Search Industry Global Outlook Report.
A survey by the AESC found that 64% of retained search executives around the globe felt positive about the first six months of 2014. That compares to 29% who said the same going into the first six months of 2013.
For the first 6 months of this year, only 33% had a neutral outlook and just 3% did not feel positive.
The AESC reported the level of optimism going into the first 6 months of 2014 is the highest since July 2011.
“The results of our outlook survey are most encouraging and indicate that, in spite of continuing volatility in some regions and sectors, nevertheless there is real evidence of organizations thinking more strategically and looking ahead with a positive mindset,” said AESC President Peter Felix.
The survey included 169 executive search executives from around the globe. 43% were from the Americas; 34% from Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and 23% from Asia Pacific.
by Ed Woycenko, January 22, 2014
It never ceases to amaze me how corporate America looks to build a championship caliber team but does not pay attention to how professional sports teams seek to win championships.
Imagine for a second that you are the owner, GM or coach of an NFL football team. You look at the history of the game and decide it is time to change the way things are done. Instead of investing money in acquiring free agents to beef up areas your team is deficient in, you decide that you can get a star quarterback comparable to Peyton Manning without investing the funds. You look at how much time and money is spent on the draft in looking at film, scouting college talent in person, interviewing individuals that you may be interested in drafting to see whether they have the proper attitude and approach to the game and whether they would be a fit in your organization. You decide that since we're living in a new age and these proven methods aren't going to help you obtain the talent you need in order to win the Super Bowl, you'll put these techniques on the back burner in favor of attracting a new breed of player utilizing the latest thing. After looking at how many colleges have football teams, you decide that you can put together a championship caliber team by running ads utilizing social media, job boards and inviting anybody who has played to come and try out for your team. Not only can you put together a team, but look at the money you'll save.
Your job posting may read like this:
Make your football dreams come true: If you have played football, and always had the desire to play in the NFL, XYZ team is holding tryouts for all positions in June. Prefer players who have played four years of college football. If you are a talented athlete who has always wanted to play football at the highest level, you are welcome to try out. We are seeking to build an NFL championship caliber team and believe the talent is out there that will allow us to accomplish our goals. Since we will not be providing any training, players should show up in good condition, be adaptable, flexible and must be quick learners.
Do you realistically think you are going to win a Super Bowl Championship only using this approach? You believe the mission can be accomplished through Boolean and Keyword searches?
Today a majority of companies are approaching talent acquisition and recruiting just this way.
Job duties and responsibilities, along with experience, seem to permeate social media and job board postings. Everyone seems to be interested in who you know and what you did, but few seem to be interested in how well you did something. Companies seem to be interested in who is going to show up for work but not what they're going to do when they get there that will contribute to revenue and profitability. What criteria are you using to select your team? Imagine a team looking for someone who can run the 40 yard dash rather than seeking someone who can run a 4.40, 40. A pro-active approach that may utilize some of these tools could help you achieve your goals, but a reactive, passive, cost contained approach relying on job board posting and social media?????
Let me know when you win the Super Bowl!