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Career advice and job search strategies for the modern careerist

The Week’s Best Hiring News: Week of July 19, 2010

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In case it escaped your attention, we’re smack in the middle of the reporting season for the second quarter of the year. Which means that, in addition to the deluge of corporate reports that send the market swaying back and forth, we’ve also had a smattering of opinion from economists on the state of the job market.

cupcakesTheir staggering conclusion: that the second quarter was lousy, but the hiring outlook is moderately better for the rest of the year. That reasoning comes from the fact that fewer employers have indicated they’re planning to cut jobs, while there’s been an increase in the number planning to expand headcount in the coming months.

Many of the following stories are examples of companies that have evidently decided to make the conversion from saying they’ll hire to actively seeking employees. And one is about how cupcakes are saving the New York economy. No, really. Read on to find out more.

  • Finance: It’s been the only industry bringing employees on board for quite some time, and it doesn’t seem like it’s in any mood for slowing down. Both Jefferies and Bank of America Merrill Lynch have been adding to the hiring momentum on Wall Street.
  • No such luck in the legal industry, however: the Wall Street Journal‘s law blog points out that summer intake dropped by an average of 44 percent this year. (That makes insider information on the firms all the more valuable for anyone interested in a career in the field. What better place to start—shameless plug alert!—than the Vault Law 100, which was released earlier this week?)
  • Ah, the vagaries of the recession. Logistics technology outfit Manhattan Associates laid off 140 people last year. Then they hired 50. Now, the company is hiring 100 more employees, “mostly technology associates in Atlanta.” Kind of makes one wonder they didn’t just hire 10 people during the recession, really…
  • Still on the tech front, Samsung is seeking around 500 technicians for a semiconductor plant in Northeast Austin.
  • It’s not all good news on the tech front, however: Applied Materials announced between 400 and 500 layoffs this week. The cuts will affect its energy and environmental division, according to BusinessWeek, “with the goal of making it profitable by next year.”
  • Guess what’s driving a resurgence of hiring in New York? Okay, okay, the financial industry, but we did that above. But how many of you said “cupcakes”? The trend for high end sweet delights “has now become a legitimate driver of the city’s economy,” according to The Daily Caller.
  • Not had your fill of weird miscellany yet? Try this for size: the oil spill is helping to reduce the unemployment rate. No word, however, on whether it’s because BP is hiring every able body it can to help with the cleanup, or just that people have really given up hope. (We suspect the former, however.)
  • Not related to the spill (we think) is the news that New Bern, NC-based Hatteras Yachts is adding 350 jobs. Assuming that the company is ramping up hiring due to increased demand, that has to be a positive sign for the economy—there are very few purchases that say “rude financial health” quite like a new yacht, after all.
  • Before we get too carried away, however, the biggest story of the week for those in the process of finding a job may well be this one: the reinstatement of long-term unemployment benefits. Among other things, the story has been a solemn reminder of the oft-quoted statistic that there is only one open job for every five active seekers in the economy right now.
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