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Ups and Downs of Job Search

“Lies, damn lies and statistics.” – Mark Twain

➔ One thing that the online world has done is to usher in an avalanche of information. Within seconds (or minutes if you’re really slow) you can find data on most anything and everything – all from your personal desktop and all within the click of a mouse.

For job seekers, this can be good news or bad news – depending on which news you want to read and/or believe.

Figures don’t lie — usually

Trust the science. Trust the data. Trust the numbers. Really? What goes “up” may never have been “down” in the first place – and vice versa. And it may or may not come down – and vice versa.

The national unemployment rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is at near historic lows of 3.5 percent. Yet the same agency’s Labor Participation Rate (which tracks the number of American adults who are actually working) continues to languish in the low 60 percent range. If that appears to be a contradiction. You’re right. It is. But those are the numbers.

Recruiters maintain that “search is not booming, but it’s doing OK.” They also say that the labor market is strong “across the board” – except for the tech sector. Overall, that should be good news for job seekers – unless you’re in tech. But is it? Those same recruiters contend that companies are expressing “careful optimism” when it comes to hiring. Yet manufacturers can’t get enough blue collar people. That’s a strange mix in the caldron.

In the dating world, (You remember that, don’t you?) that’s what might be called “mixed signals.” She loves me; she loves me not.

But you’re not picking daisies. You’re looking for a job and the best news on that front is that you only need to find one. And regardless of the labor market, the unemployment rate, the overall economy, the stock market, etc., that “one job” is still out there… waiting… for you. For you to get out there and grab it.


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