HOW LONG WILL HIGH JOBLESS RATES LAST?
John Challenger, CEO of the Challenger, Gray & Christmas outplacement firm, points out that even if the
WHAT MIGHT PROLONG THAT
People who are coming back onto the job market and haven’t been previously counted as unemployed, Challenger says. Employers can also ask workers to work longer hours and hire temporary help before they hire fulltimers.
Challenger notes that one of his firm’s recent surveys showed hiring managers say networking and social networking are the two most effective job-seeking tools, while attending job fairs ranked last. “Interesting how the focus on finding jobs is changing.”
WHO’S BEEN HIT HARDEST
Men have been hit much harder than women, with categories such as construction and manufacturing off significantly, “whereas areas like healthcare and education have been the strongest,” Challenger said.
WHAT JOBS MAY NEVER COME BACK?
“No question that in each recession you see historical changes that are accelerated as types of jobs that companies hung on to in periods of expansion get eliminated just by force,” Challenger says. “Every recession does bring on real substantive change where jobs disappear, by technology, or globalization.
In this recession, the industries that have been hit hardest have been automotive, manufacturing (lower semi skilled jobs disappear), home construction. You can’t ship these overseas, but there won’t be many homes built for awhile.”
“In this downturn, what really shot up is the number of people who were unemployed and did not expect to be called back,” says Tom Nardone, assistant commissioner for current employment analysis at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
WHO MIGHT LEAD US OUT
“Each of the last few recessions, there’s been an industry or two that would lead the economy out of recession,” Challenger says, noting technology in the 1990s and housing and finance in the most recent recession. “This next period of time, it feels to me it’s going to be driven by healthcare, energy in the drive for energy independence, and then maybe a broad category, international: jobs related to the U.S.’ ability to tap into the growth as the world comes out of recession.”
WHAT TRADITIONALLY LUCRATIVE CAREERS HAVE BEEN HIT HARD?
Finance’s fall, Challenger says, has “also impacted law firms very heavily, especially those that dealt with the boom in mergers and acquisitions that went on over the last decade. I think we’ve seen more layoffs from the legal industry than I’ve ever seen before. You wonder whether the partnership model has been threatened and whether law firms will move to a more traditional employment model. Maybe the next recession.”
HOW HAVE JOB LOSSES CHANGED WORKPLACE DYNAMICS?
“The impact of a recesison on the emotional health of workers who are employed is an interesting
- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram