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Jobless rate down to 7.5% – More signs of economic recovery?

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

On Friday, U.S. markets cheered after taking a look at unemployment numbers. Unemployment rate is at the lowest level since December 2008. U.S. Labor Department also significantly raised hiring estimates for the two prior months, by a combined 114,000 jobs. Without much argument, this is clearly a sign of economic recovery in U.S. But, the question is will it sustain? Especially with crazy housing boom (and the subsequent bidding wars for real estate properties) in many parts of the country.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 142.38 points, or 1%, to 14973.96. In an interesting development, gold futures are losing momentum which may indicate that investors are willing to sell gold to move back into stocks. Investors start accumulating gold when they feel that other investments are relatively worse and gold is the safe bet. They start selling gold when they feel that other investments are relatively better off.

Some Fed officials are adjusting their hopes for a stronger economic rebound. Economic growth has averaged about 2% a year during the recovery. “We are likely to see brief swings above and below that rate from time to time, but I don’t see a compelling case for a sustained departure anytime soon,” Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Richmond Fed, said in a speech Friday.

It’s not all rosy. The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index released on Friday fell to 53.1 in April, from 54.4 in March. This index is still above 50 which typically indicates improvement for the service sector. However, the decline from previous month is something to watch out for.

U.S. Jobless Rate Drops to Three Year Low!

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Something is cooking up… It looks like economic recovery is gaining momentum. Economic recovery is depending on the recovery in the job market. Luckily we are seeing some strong evidence that job market is improving. US unemployment rate dropped to near three-year low of 8.5%. Nonfarm payrolls are increased by 200,000 in December according to the Labor Department. Economists were expecting 150,000 gain in nonfarm payrolls.

Right now, 13 million workers are unemployed. It is going to take many more months to recoup all the losses in the job market. However we hope that the current momentum in job market recovery would continue for the next six months provided Europe debt crisis doesn’t get worse.

Unemployment rates fell in many U.S. cities

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Although there is no net change in U.S. unemployment rate, many cities reported drop in unemployment rates. Unemployment rate in Mansfield, Ohio fell from 11.4% to 10.1%. Bismarck, N.D. reported the nation’s lowest unemployment rate, at 3%. Yuba City, CA and Modesto, CA also reported the drop of 1.6%.

Although the drop is not very significant, it’s a good start. News like this always come with a caveat — in this case, lots of people stopped looking for a job, they are not counted as unemployed.

Stock market is bleeding. Even the gold price is going down. I would stay away from the stock market until there is a strong evidence of job growth and improvement in overall U.S. job market.

Unemployment Rate Falls to 10%

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Economists expected last month’s non-farm payroll declines to be in the range of 125,000. However, non-farm payrolls fell just by 11,000. U.S. unemployment rate declined from 10.2% to 10%. Employment fell in construction, manufacturing and information, while temporary help services and health care added jobs.

Job market is in recovery mode. The good news is that it is still in recovery mode. It’s not getting any worse. Antulio Bomfim, a former Fed economist, said “We expect the jobless rate to start falling very gradually in the first half of 2010”.  Carl Riccadonna, senior U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank, said  “We’ve still got a long way to go, but the good news in this report provides important positive momentum.” Positive momentum… that’s what we need now! This report is cheering up the market today. This enthusiasm may last for a while until another Dubai screws up with their finances.

Related Link: Wall Street Journal

Unused Vacation Days Can Help Your 401K

Monday, September 28th, 2009

If you don’t use all your vacation days this year and if your company allows you to cash-out unused vacation days, you can contribute the amount for unused vacation to 401k plan. To encourage savings, the Obama administration recently blessed such transfers. More details are here.

Top four common work at home scams to avoid

Friday, September 18th, 2009

So many people have been looking for ways to make some extra income, ways to help pay the bills because of the difficult economy. This has led to more people than ever looking for work at home jobs for an extra income, or even for their entire income. While there are legitimate work at home jobs, did you know that 99% of the work at home advertisements you see on the Internet are scams? Before you go investing your time or money into a work at home job, make sure you avoid these four common scams.

Four Common Work at Home Scams

  1. Envelope stuffing- This is probably the oldest one in the book, but it continues on even to this day. Trust me when I tell you, you won’t be stuffing envelopes for a living. The people placing these kinds of ads aren’t looking for envelope stuffers, but rather people who will pay a registration fee and then place the advertisement somewhere else. Stay away from these scams!
  2. Processing medical insurance claims- If you think about it there is no way any legitimate doctor is going to contract out their insurance claims to an unproven person or firm. Don’t pay for medical insurance claim “training” that is supposedly so easy you can learn it in no time.
  3. Multi-level marketing schemes- There are legitimate multi-level marketing companies, but the truth is most of the multi-level marketing advertising you’ll see are nothing but a pure pyramid scheme. How can you tell the difference? Typically in a MLM scam they will be more concerned with you getting other people to join under you than selling any product.
  4. Craft or assembly work- Many scam artists like to use people’s talents against them, and that is exactly what happens in these types of scams. You’ll hear that you can earn money by assembling products or crafts for this company, but once you start crafting and assembling (after you have paid them money for instructions), you won’t hear back from the company.

More jobs are coming?

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

The survey of human-resource executives at 175 mostly midsize and large U.S. firms by consulting firm Watson Wyatt Worldwide Inc. found that 33% plan to unfreeze salaries within the next six months and 79% within the next year. It appears that employers are becoming more optimistic and adding new jobs. Even if they are not adding new jobs, reducing number of layoffs alone will help the economy.

The Watson Wyatt survey found employers will be slower to restore changes in benefit programs — and many recent changes to health-care plans may become permanent. More details about the survey are here.

The Recession and its Effect on Entry Level Jobs

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Entry level jobs have always been a little difficult to come by because so many corporations want to hire someone with experience. It’s always been a case of the old catch 22 for the job seeker; they need experience to find a job, but can’t find a job to get experience. In the recession today it has made finding a quality entry level job even more difficult. The recession has hurt recent college graduates quite drastically in their search for the start to a career, and just about anyone looking for an entry level job in most industries is in the same boat.

The recession has caused a lot of companies that previously offered nice entry level positions to turn to temporary workers or unpaid internships. The scarcity of quality entry level jobs makes it quite depressing for job seekers. Since there are so few entry level career positions available it has caused the amount of competition for these jobs to skyrocket to never before seen levels. The most prominent entry level jobs are now jobs that are commission based employment opportunities where the employee makes little or no salary and has to build up a clientele to make a living. This is definitely a tough way to go in the beginning unless you are a natural salesperson.

What are a couple of areas that you may be able to find entry level jobs even during the recession?  The health care industry still has quite a few entry level jobs available, especially as medical assistants. The health care industry is one that is virtually immune from the recession, so jobs there are much safer than other sectors. Another area that is hiring some entry level workers is the government. Government entry level jobs are down from previous levels because of budget shortfalls, but there are still quite a few decent positions available.

The bottom line is the recession has put quite a damper on the entry level job market, but if you are persistent and look in the right areas you may still be able to find a solid job.

Rising Unemployment Takes Its Toll on Older Managers

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

The current recession is deeper and already longer than any since World War II. This caused big trouble for managers in their 40s and early 50s. They tend to be more expensive than their younger counterparts; they may lack some of the high-tech savvy needed to succeed in a more efficient workplace; and they face a downsized job market that will stay that way much longer than usual.

According to Wharton finance and statistics professor Francis X. Diebold, co-director of the Wharton Financial Institutions Center, the current employment picture is closely aligned with the depth of the recession. “If the recession really did bottom out in February or March, and if we stay on track and start growing at a positive rate by the end of this year — which is by no means certain — it could still be 2013 before we see some significant employment optimism.”

Many companies laid off mid-to-senior level managers because they were expensive. It was particularly hard in IT industry. If you are one of those older managers that are struggling to find job, here are some helpful hints for you.

Go International: Many companies in emerging markets are looking for talented and well connected foreign nationals. Your first step will be to network with headhunters in your target market and check the job listings in top two job portals in your target country.

Go Teach: If you have passion to teach, getting a teaching job in schools/colleges will be an ideal option. If you have Ph.D, you will find the doors wide open for you in online universities; they need well qualified teaching professionals to teach their popular courses.

Go Consult: If the above choices don’t work out for you, become a consultant in the domain of your expertise.

Jobs & Jobs

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Job losses in U.S. are softening. Nonfarm payrolls slid 345,000 in May, the U.S. Labor Department said today, well below the 525,000 decline economists in a Dow Jones Newswires survey had expected. This is the smallest drop since September 2008. Unemployment rate is increased by 0.5% to 9.4%. Still, declining job loss is the good sign for recovery.

Steve Jobs is coming back to Apple Inc according to Wall Street Journal. This news sent Apple shares higher today. When Steve Jobs left Apple on sick leave, Apple shareholders were anxious about the company’s performance. Luckily, Apple is doing great in spite of Steve Jobs’s absence.

Declining unemployment is the key to the recovery of economy. It’s slowly happening. Let us hope that this momentum stays in place for many months to come.

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