Job Hunters Face Stagnant Job Market

If you are looking for work, the news on the job front in general is not very encouraging. Employment experts are forecasting that overall there will be no increase in hiring for 2012 because of the weak economy.

But the news isn’t all bad for job hunters, depending on what field they are in, because in some areas, employment prospects are actually very good. Just looking at the overall employment picture tells little about the specific areas where companies are actually looking very hard for people.

The job market is going through a period of heightened turbulence because fundamental changes in the economy are taking place, according to business experts. Unsure when demand will gather steam, companies are taking a cautious approach to hiring, asking their workers to do more than in the past, and relying on contingent workers to fill gaps.

The manufacturing and service sectors are especially weak.. About 25 percent of recent layoffs came from the manufacturing area, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Society for Human Resources Management is forecasting that hiring in manufacturing will only increase a little more than one percent each year. Hiring in the service sector is expected to drop by more than 10 percent annually.

But while the manufacturing and service sectors struggle, companies report continuing difficulties in finding people with skills in particular areas, most notably in areas like engineering, healthcare, and IT. In fact, a recent survey revealed that six out of every ten companies are having problems finding skilled workers. Moreover, the number of companies having trouble keeping skilled workers has climbed five percent since 2010, to about 36 percent.

This two-tiered job market is also split along educational lines. People with college degrees or specialized skills training have relatively low unemployment rates. The unemployment rate for people with a college degree is now a little more than four percent. But for people with less than a high school diploma, the unemployment rate is more than 14 percent.

For high school graduates, the unemployment rate is about 10 percent. The employment rate for people 16 to 24 years old stands at under 50 percent, the lowest ever recorded. Business analysts predict the problem will only become more severe. There are plenty of lower skilled workers, they say, and not enough job growth to handle them. There is a problem in the economy now where the skills or lack of skills of many workers do not fit the skills employers seek.

If you’re looking for a new position in Anchorage, Portland, Seattle, Lake Oswego, Tacoma, or Chicago, give the Opti Staffing Group a call. We have many temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire assignments available – and we also offer skills training! Contact us today!

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