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Moving Forward Despite Conflicting Employment Statistics

September 18, 2009 03:00 PM
by Sarah Amandolare
A report says unemployment has reached record levels, but last week U.S. jobless claims fell. As the situation progresses, what can people do to find jobs or change careers?

Dire Prediction Tempered by Good News

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The report, issued by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), said the industrialized world's unemployment levels would match World War II levels by next year. There are 30 wealthy nations that belong to the OECD, and the report says their rate of joblessness "will approach 10 percent in the second half of next year," according to the Associated Press. The OECD also said increased unemployment could last longer and "take many years to bring back down."

Last week, however, the number of "initial jobless claims" in the U.S. dropped according to the Labor Department. The Canadian Broadcasting Centre (CBC) reported that the number decreased by 12,000 to 545,000 first-time applicants. Improved "retail sales and manufacturing prices data" also seem to indicate economic recovery in the U.S., but the Labor Department's report also showed an increase in "the total number of Americans collecting unemployment insurance" to 6.23 million. Labor Day timing may have skewed numbers, however, the CBC reported.

Background: Reducing job loss

According to CNN Money, unemployment claims in California "fell the most, by 2,751" over the past month due to "fewer layoffs in the trade and services industries," state officials said. "Companies are profoundly skeptical about the sustainability of the upturn," economist Ian Shepherdson of High Frequency Economics told CNN Money, "but unless they believe the economy is about to suffer a serious broad relapse, we think they will have to reduce the rate of job losses."

Related Topic: Should you switch careers?

Writing for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Matt Krumrie discusses whether to pursue a new career. "[T]he first thing you need to understand is what you really like doing. Write down what you love (and what you hate) about your current and previous jobs," he suggests. Researching the industries you're considering is crucial, and Krumrie also advises asking yourself tough questions relevant to the shaky economy. For example, have you lost interest in your current industry due solely to the slowdown? And how will you compete in a new industry against "people who have much more experience in an extremely tight job market?"

If you decide to take the leap and switch careers, consider the online resources in findingDulcinea's feature, "Discover Your New Dream Career."

Reference: Job hunting and careers

FindingDulcinea's Job Hunting Web Guide helps you search for a job online by using job search engines, and discusses how to create a professional online identity, write a resume and craft a cover letter. You'll find resources for job networking and information about employment agencies, and you'll get tips on how to interview and negotiate a salary.
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