Unemployment Rate Falls as the Economy Adds More Jobs

The rate of unemployment has fallen to 4.1% and that is the lowest rate in nearly twenty years! The economy added 261,000 jobs in October and has added around 1.5 million jobs since the beginning of the year.

The interesting thing to watch will be wage growth. Will the increase in the employment numbers mean that wages will go up as companies compete for qualified employees? Thus far the numbers do not show that, but there has been upward wage pressure starting to appear in some industries. The open question is whether this will start to happen across more industries. Time will tell.

New Book Release – Motivated Resumes and LinkedIn Profiles

I am pleased to announce the release of my fifth book and the next book in the Motivated Series of job search books, Motivated Resumes and LinkedIn Profiles.

This book is unlike any resume or LinkedIn profile book ever written! It gives you unprecedented insight and advice from over a dozen of the most credentialed, experienced, and award-winning resume and LinkedIn profile writers in the industry.

Motivated Resumes and LinkedIn Profiles is an instructional book on how to write persuasive resumes and LinkedIn profiles. It contains over 180 pieces of sage advice quoted throughout the book from these experienced and award-winning resume writers. You will learn how these writers create impact resumes and LinkedIn profiles that will stand out, get you interviews, and job offers! Get inside the minds of these writers. Learn how they think about keywords, titling, branding, accomplishments, format, color, design, and a host of other resume writing and LinkedIn profile considerations as they create stunning resumes and winning LinkedIn profiles. The book contains over 80 sample resumes and other job search written communications.

Some say that Motivated Resumes and LinkedIn Profiles reveals too many secrets of the resume writing industry! Become an “insider” and learn the secrets from some of the very best.

You can check out this newly released book on Amazon.

Other books authored by Brian Howard include: The Motivated Job Search, The Motivated Networker, Over 50 and Motivated, and The Motivated Job Search Workbook (to be used in conjunction with The Motivated Job Search and Over 50 and Motivated).

Jobless Claims Tick Up Slightly Off Historic Low

In September, the number of new claims for unemployment hit the lowest level in nearly 45 years! However, new claims increased slightly this month by 10,000 to a rate of 233,000 (seasonally adjusted). This is not too surprising. There will likely be some volatility in the job market numbers in the coming months as a result of the storms that hit Texas, Florida, and the Gulf Coast. A counter balance is the hiring that traditionally takes place in anticipation of the upcoming holidays.

When taken as a whole, and netting out the potential effects of the storms, the jobs market is reasonably healthy. Qualified and motivated job seekers should be finding job opportunities across most regions of the country and across most industries.

Brian Howard Interviewed and Discusses His Recent Book, Over 50 and Motivated

Brian Howard was recently interviewed on CareerMetis discussing his book, Over 50 and Motivated – a job search book for job seekers over 50. Over 50 and Motivated is the fourth book in the Motivated Series of job search books. Other books in the series include: The Motivated Job Search, The Motivated Networker, and The Motivated Job Search Workbook.

You can listen to the interview on the CareerMetis website, as well as YouTube, Weblink, and SoundCloud.

You can purchase Over 50 and Motivated, as well as the other books in the series, on Amazon.

July 2017 Sets Job Openings Record

The Labor Department reported that the number of job openings in the U.S hit an all-time high in July at 6.17 million (records dating back to 2000). The initial reaction would be that this is good news – which in part it is. There are jobs available in the market. The concern is the ever-growing fact that there is a lack of skilled or qualified candidates to fill these openings, hence the high number of job openings. This is an interesting dilemma. The jobs are there but the human-talent to fill the jobs is not.

The Labor Department also reported that the number of people who quit their jobs is also up. This is generally interpreted that workers are comfortable leaving their jobs to pursue other job opportunities.

The lack of skilled or qualified workers will continue to be an issue for employers the foreseeable future. The good news for skilled or qualified job seekers is there are jobs available for those that want to change.

Decline in Unemployment Claims (Again)

According to the Department of Labor, the number of new claims for unemployment benefits declined again last week. This is another indication that the job market seems to be healthy and gaining momentum. Taken across the entire economy, businesses are not laying people off (although there are always industry pockets where lay off occur).


July Job Gains Beat Predictions

The U.S. economy added 209,000 in July, beating expectations by nearly 30,000. The unemployment rate went down from 4.4% to 4.3%, the lowest since March 2001. In addition, job gains for May and June were revised upward by 2,000 new jobs. Since January of 2017, the U.S. economy has added approximately 1.3M new jobs.

The number of employed Americans is 153.5 million. The employment-to-population ratio has increased to 60.2 percent – the highest level since February 2009. Adding to the good news of the job gains is wage growth. Wage growth has increased by 2.5% on a 12-month basis.

All of these numbers are good news for the jobs market and the economy. There are jobs available in the market and employers are hiring. Wages are moving up which normally signals consumer spending which further spurs economic growth.

By and large, if a job seeker wants to work and has skills needed by an employer, there is a job available.

Check out The Motivated Series of job search books. They include: The Motivated Job Search (and accompanying workbook), The Motivated Networker, and Over 50 and Motivated.

New Claims for Unemployment Benefits Fall

New claims for unemployment benefits fell last week. The drop to 233,000 is good news and an indication that companies are not reducing their workforce.

Late summer is an interesting time of year for employment in that summer jobs start to wind down and come to an end. Analysts state that the interesting fact this year is that many companies did not hire as many summer employees as previous years. This means that fewer will be laid off as the season ends.

Strong Gains in June Jobs Report

The U.S. economy added 222,000 jobs in June, more than anticipated. April and May reports were revised upward to 207,000 and 152,000 respectively. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, during the first six months of this year the economy has added over 1,100,000 new jobs.

The unemployment rate ticked up a tenth of a percent to 4.4% which is steady, if not slightly good news. More people are re-engaging in the labor market as they look for employment (which affects the unemployment rate). In the course of time, there should start to be a rise in the labor participation rate which has been at historic lows for an extended period of time.

For job seekers, the trend of job creation is positive news. The jobs market is healthy and for those that have the requisite skills needed by employers and execute an effective job search strategy, opportunities are available and can be found.

Check out The Motivated Series of job search books. They include: The Motivated Job Search (and accompanying workbook), The Motivated Networker, and Over 50 and Motivated.

A Discussion about Wage Growth

According to economic analysts, the job market (with its high demand for employees) should be pushing wages and compensation up by now. The unemployment rate is very low (4.3%) and some seem to believe we are at “full employment.” A reasonable conclusion would be that there is, or should be, a shortage of available employees. As a result and by application of the law of supply and demand, there should be evidence of higher wages and compensation, right? Not this time.

Under the current situation, the issue affecting wages and compensation is the skills-gap between what employers need and what the job seekers/employees offers. There are not enough job seekers/employees with the required skills to take the jobs being offered by employers – regardless of the pay. This will be a significant on-going problem.

In today’s economic environment, employers are not interested in hiring a job seeker/employee who will not be quickly contribute to the company’s bottom line. They need immediate impact. Any wage and compensation increases in the job market are likely taking place to lure experienced employees from one company to another.

How could this market dynamic affect a job search? As a job seeker, a pivotal element of your job search is to present yourself to an employer with the skills that will immediately provide a benefit. Identify your skills (including transferable skills) with accompanying accomplishments using those skills. When you do, you position yourself to possibly improve the monetary offer from the employer.