Researching the Labor Market: There is Hope for the Job Seeker

Finding a job is a full time job. If you are picky, you could be without a job for months, even years. Most job-seekers move to DC with the perception that jobs are readily available because the market has not been hit as hard as other places. Yours truly did just that two years ago. The market is competitive enough as it is and now with the shutdown activities, it is darn near impossible to get interviews with some companies who work alongside or are federal workers.

Let’s not tip-toe around the issue, recent graduates are facing a tough market. Below I have included some recent articles about the job market, which is dismal, at best.

How are New College Grads Faring in Today’s Market, IMT Career Journal: “While entering the workforce is a particularly difficult task for new college grads lacking any professional experience, employment prospects tend to improve as graduates acquire more experience and education.”

Graduating into a Sunnier Job Market, The Courant: “The unemployment rate for college graduates younger than 25 averaged 8.8 percent over the 12 months that ended in February 2013, down from more than 10 percent in 2010 and 2011, according to an Economic Policy Institute study released last month. Happily, this year’s graduates have more reason to be optimistic than those who graduated two or three years ago, although the market has not yet returned to pre-recession health.”

What to Expect During a Job Search in  Today’s Market, USA News: This article is a little dismal, but worth the read. It helps align expectations….but don’t give up hope job seekers!

Is There Hope for Recent College Grads, Real Time Economics: “Labor market dynamics have changed in a pretty significant way for younger workers,” Mr. Dudley said. “Labor market statistics don’t match up with this change in the structure of the labor market.”

Putting the pessimism aside, there is still some hope for those job-seeking individuals.

The Financial Post published the article An Enterprising Remedy for Youth Underemployment, where they interviewed Marie Bountrogianni, interim dean at
Ryerson University’s G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Studies. The questions and answers provide valuable insight into what job seekers need to do to find their first job. The question I find most interesting is:

“Q: Employers often complain recent graduates lack “soft skills,” such as communication, interpersonal relations, critical thinking, problem solving, etc. They say they can’t put recent graduates in front of clients because they’re unable to articulate their ideas or communicate effectively.”

Ms. Bountrogianni offers some keen advice when she said, “While you’re studying what you love, also look at what the labour market requires.”

In addition, the article Hope Exists for Your Job Search, Despite Unemployment Spike, Psychology Today states: “Despite the recent doom and gloom, there is hope if you remember that: 1) There are still jobs available, even though they may not seem as plentiful. 2) A positive attitude can only help you. 3) You only need one job; it is a numbers game. 4) Your career destiny is most affected by one thing: your tenacity.”

I know that didn’t provide a lot of hope, but hopefully it will shed light on what is currently happening in the job market. The bottom line is that if you prepare yourself for what is ahead, understand the job market, and don’t give up trying to find a job, you will be better off.