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Posts Tagged ‘small business hiring

Here’s Why You Can’t Find a New Job

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A nice chart from the New York Times’ Economix blog provides an interesting insight into why you (or someone you know) can’t find work just now: business owners are concerned about poor sales. According to Economix’ Catherine Rampell, the chart “breaks down what percent of small businesses cited each of these problems as their biggest challenge, going back to 1986.”

You’ll notice, of course, that less than a third of business owners cite poor sales as their chief concern. But when you compare levels of concern over the period of the recession (say, from 2007 to now) to the entire rest of the chart, it’s clear that we’re seeing all-time levels of concern over sales of late. And unless you’ve been paying particularly poor attention over the last couple of years, you’ll likely also have noticed that unemployment is at record levels as well. Both, in fact, are between two and three times the levels seen in the decade prior to the recession. Coincidence?

Chart showing drop in sales affecting hiring
Source: The New York Times Economix blog

A couple of other interesting stats: first, despite the fact that taxes are one of the hottest political potatoes around at the moment, the proportion of business owners citing them as the main factor affecting hiring hasn’t varied that much in the almost-quarter century the chart covers.

There’s also been a marked surge in concern over government requirements—likely a response to health care reform and new regulation prompted by the recession. While that’s obviously a cause for concern—particularly for the government as it approaches the November elections—it also spells opportunity for one group of workers: consultants.

Also, check out the dark blue section of the chart, which tracks responses on “quality of labor” as a concern for hiring. While it’s interesting to see how much the concern has narrowed since the onset of the recession, the real story is in comparing the mid to late 90s to the years prior to the current recession (when skilled labor shortages were widely predicted). Significantly more respondents in the 90s were concerned about quality of labor than those in the middle of the previous decade—despite the fact that the latter group were actually facing the prospect of losing quality from the workforce with the (now-delayed) impending retirement of the Boomer generation. So what gives? Was it the Internet boom catching companies cold or something else?

–Phil Stott,

The Week’s Best Hiring News: Week of May 10, 2010

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Another week, another batch of companies and government organizations deciding to throw caution to the winds and at least think about adding to their human capital. Scroll down for news on companies hiring in tech, finance, and other industries all across the country.

  • Arguably the biggest hiring story of the week came out of Washington D.C., and it didn’t have any new jobs attached to it: just a commitment that the government would streamline its hiring processes in order to fill its estimated 270,000 vacancies in a more timely fashion. For added insight, check out Vault’s take on the subject. Also in the realm of government, Congress is examining the policy of allowing employers to use credit history to make hiring decisions, or for insurers to make coverage decisions. And when we say examining, we mean: looking to reduce the practice, if not ban it altogether.
  • Seems like every week we’re seeing positive reports on the tech industry’s hiring prospects. This week’s offering: a report from eWeek that says “Financial execs who work at technology companies are saying they feel a tad more positive about hiring and the economy in general.” Try not to get too excited about that industry’s prospects, won’t you?Still, some tech companies are doing their bit: Google is hiring a head of social and as many as 300 temporary workers who will be tasked with improving Google Maps. And Cisco is planning to hire thousands of workers over the next few quarters, while seeking to make some acquisitions as well. And all of that comes on the back of the positive April jobs report, where 17,300 of the 290,000 job gains were in tech.
  • Not quite such good news for a sector of the economy that got a lot of play during the Presidential elections: the Wall Street Journal reports that hiring at small businesses is lagging. How badly? Apparently “more small-business owners say they plan to eliminate jobs compared with those that expect to create new jobs over the next three months.”
  • One doesn’t know whether to cheer for Anderson County, S.C. or feel sorry for. On the one hand, “The greatest thing that’s happened in Anderson County’s history” happened just this week. On the other, that statement was made regarding First Quality Tissue’s decision to locate in the County, creating 1,000 jobs in the process. While the move is undoubtedly good news—and would be for any community in the country right now—one does wonder just how dull the entire rest of the county’s history has been.
  • In other news from South Carolina, meanwhile, Spartanburg firm 3R is hiring around 200 people to help with the clean-up efforts from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. While it’s not C-suite work, it’s a chance to make a genuine difference, and have a real example of crisis management on your resume. Further details: “3R will provide free training, and room and board will be provided for those who go to work for them. Those hired will be cleaning oil off beaches, putting in booms and skimmers, putting down oil absorption material, etc. Pay starts at $12 per hour.”
  • Great news! New York’s MTA is hiring lots of managers!
  • Terrible news! The MTA has an $800 million deficit and is cutting cleaning crews.
  • We can’t say this any clearer than the lede writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, so we’ll get out of their way: “In a bid to strengthen its position in the Mid-Atlantic and New England states, the parent of Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania is spending $500 million on technology, hiring 80 lenders for small- and mid-sized companies, and adding 100 mortgage bankers.”
  • And now, proof that sometimes we do save the best for last. Frat boys, start your engines: The World Beer Pong Tour is hiring a marketing manager. And, while we can certainly help with a profession description, we haven’t quite got around to including The World Beer Pong Tour as one of our featured companies. Yet.
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