The New York Times yesterday asked the question on behalf of those of us who care little for “green shoots,” swings in the stock market, or other economic indicators beyond our own ability to afford a trip to the grocery store: When, Oh When, Will HELP be WANTED?
The answers the paper got from a bunch of economists were less than encouraging, boiling down to "no sooner than next summer"—a perspective that came with the added qualifier of being "a guess, verging on wishful thinking."
According to the article, one of the major factors likely to weigh on the hiring market in the coming months is that, in the wake of a spate of hourly reductions aimed at cutting costs while retaining talent, companies will be seeking to ramp existing employees back up to full hours before they consider hiring any additional hands. That, says a source cited in the piece, is the equivalent of adding back four to five million jobs before any additional hiring begins.
It's not all bad news, though: the piece was also accompanied by this eye-catching graphic, which demonstrated that some sectors have actually experienced growth since the onset of the recession in December 2007. Chief among these are home health care services, oil and gas extraction and the Federal government. OK, so the same graphic does show more than double the sectors losing jobs as gaining them, with the worst hit—temporary help services and motor vehicles and parts —eliminating a third or more of their jobs. But the fact that there are some sectors that have experienced growth should give anyone looking for a position just now more of an idea where the opportunities are. And, along with those, it's a fair bet that several of the lesser-impacted sectors will bounce back quickly once a recovery does get under way—food manufacturing, service sector and child day care services in particular, as they're among the first luxuries to be cut when times are hard, but also the first to recover as people re-enter the workforce and begin the task of balancing work, life and relaxation once again—often by paying for services.
--Posted by Phil Stott
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