The economic climate stemming from the financial industry crisis that began in December 2007 has been tough. Financial institutions, accused by Congress of taking too much risk when underwriting home mortgages—despite the significant leverage used by government agencies and regulatory bodies—responded by tightening their lending parameters for corporate and commercial clients. In addition, poor consumer spending seriously eroded profits of many companies, drastically reducing shareholder returns.
Economic Impact on Jobs
These two forces combined to stall business growth and job creation for the past two plus years, increasing the unemployment rate from about 5% to more than 10% today. For job seekers, the pool of available positions has shrunk even more. Consider that in a vibrant economy, there is much upward mobility. As new business launch or existing companies expand, they need good people to step in and run their operations. In addition, as businesses grow and profits soar, retirement and 401(k) account balances increase, prompting senior-level personnel to retire, or at least to go into some type of semi-retirement status, creating even more opportunity for upward advancement.
With housing values declining or, at best, flat-lining, and retirement accounts losing value, older workers have been forced to hold off retirement plans. Some people that had retired early jumped back into the workforce as well.
The big question now is what happens next. Many economists foresee only slight improvements to the job market in 2011. Some predict that unemployment will not fall below 10% until late in the year, if it all. However, much depends on the actions of the 112th United States Congress, which convenes in early January. Tax policy, particularly those policies that address corporate taxation rates, can have the quickest, most dramatic, and longest lasting impact to the job forecast. A reduction in the corporate tax structure signals to companies and investors alike that it is time to invest in and plan for business expansion and new start ups.
How Does This Impact My Job Search
When conducting a job search in this type of market, you need to plan for stiff competition. It is important to develop a good strategy for your search and begin your efforts by putting together a winning resume. Contact a resume professional to help you prepare a targeted resume document that will address the needs of both HR personnel and hiring managers.