Still not Enough Positive Unemployment Stats

Get Hired Fast - unemployment statsThe country received some good unemployment stats last week when the number of people seeking unemployment assistance fell. But even with this positive bit of news, the fact remains that the employment situation in the United States is still a challenging one.

And that means that anyone hoping to find work in today’s hiring environment needs to employ the right job search strategies. For those who don’t know how to find a job in today’s still tough economy will find that their job searches are far from successful.

Unemployment Benefits

According to a recent story by the Washington Post, the U.S. Labor Department said that first-time applications for unemployment benefits fell by 41,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 410,000.

Two weeks ago, the news wasn’t quite as good. Then, applications for unemployment benefits rose by 90,000 to a seasonally adjusted 451,000. That was an 18-month high. Economic experts, though, said that much of this increase was fueled by Hurricane Sandy, the superstorm that devastated the East Coast.

According to the Post story, nearly 44,000 people in New York and 31,000 in New Jersey applied for unemployment benefits that week.

Long-Term Unemployment

The longer-term unemployment stats paint a still-depressing picture for people who are still trying to find a job. The four-week average of first-time applications for unemployment benefits rose by 9,500 to 396,250.

That longer-term trend shows that too many people across the country can’t find work. And when you add to the official unemployment numbers the number of people who have given up and dropped out of the job search, the data look especially frightful.

Boost Your Odds

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t run a successful job search. You can boost your chances of finding work by taking the most important career search strategies today.

First, make sure to network frequently with your business contacts. Your former boss, past co-workers, or local chamber of commerce head might be the person who gives you a hot job lead, introduces you to an important player in your industry, or recommends you to a colleague.

Secondly, use social media sites, especially the business-centric LinkedIn.com, to communicate with your network of online business contacts. Again, you might turn up solid job leads from these online sites.

Finally, create a resume and cover letter that explain exactly how you helped your previous employers reach their goals.

If you need additional help finding a job, consider signing up for our Get Hired Boot Camp.

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