Employment News: Challenges and Opportunities

This is a time of limited hiring, but there are an unprecedented number of high-quality candidates available.

Free fallin' is what the U.S. labor market seems to be doing, particularly over the last five months. The headline news in January's employment report was the sharpest drop in payrolls since 1974; over 34 years ago.

Overall

Employment contracted by nearly 600,000 in January; this report was a negative surprise with economists were expecting a number of just over a half million. Since the recession began in December of 2007, the U.S. economy has lost over 3.5 million jobs; but the worst part is that the bottom is not yet in sight.

Finance and Insurance

This broad sector fell by almost 48,000 jobs or about 0.8 percent in the month of January. Job losses during the trailing 12-months period since February of '08 amount to nearly 3 percent of the workforce and total over 175,000.


Securities Industry

In January, the securities industry experienced the worst single month's job loss, in our records, which go back 16 years. For the month, 18,000 workers lost jobs, and for the eight month period from June 2008 through January 200 employment retracted by 47,000 workers; falling from a historically record high employment level in June of last year.

While it is true that many firms are not hiring in this industry, it is also true that we are experiencing a significant number of firms who are recognizing that an unprecedented number of high-quality job candidates are looking, and these firms are starting to take advantage of this opportunity. Most of the jobs are in sales, while salaried positions are at a premium until this economy and the financial markets can stage some sort of recovery.

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Research magazine/Summit Business Media and BrokerHunter.com will present the BROKERHUNTER.com Virtual Career Fair for Financial Services on Wednesday, April 29, and Wednesday, October 21. For more info, see www.BrokerHunter.com/virtual .
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Jeff Testerman is vice president of sales for BrokerHunter.com, based near Atlanta; reach him at jeff@brokerhunter.com

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