Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Long Overdue Post

As I begin today with this post, I realize how many months have passed since I last communicated with everyone.

I have to say, that I truly found it difficult to "keep a stiff upper lip" and encourage everyone to press forward looking for a job as the prospects for finding employment continued to dwindle and it became much more difficult for everyone of all age groups to find a decent paying position.

I was reading a report today where it stated that the time between 2007 and 2009 was the worst downturn in employment since the 1930's.  That all sounds fine and dandy but to those who continued to want employment and are still unable to find employment from 2009 to the present, it just sounds like fake rhetoric. I'm so glad that the report now says we are once again back up to the employment level that we were at prior to the recession. Sounds well and good, but what about all the years since the beginning of the "recession," as the article calls it, where there has been no additional growth?  To me and anyone else who has been looking for work, it is like being at the bottom of a well, with a ladder where the rungs are broken and continue breaking out from under you. One step up and you fall back down two or three!

The report stated that there is now 37.2% still who are unemployed and many of those have totally given up searching for work. The article was lamenting that those in the baby boomer era who are either old enough now to retire or in their mid to late 50's are finding it very difficult to locate meaningful employment  along with those in the 18-24 age bracket. One of the problems for the older worker is that the employer is unwilling to pay them their actual worth, considering that they have been out of work for several years, expecting them to take deep cuts. It is so much easier to hire one or two younger people who would equal the pay required for the seasoned worker and train them. Also their insurance costs would be drastically less and they most likely would be assured of having them around as an employee for much longer than the older worker.

So yes, anyone over 50 is still having a very difficult time trying to find proper, well paying employment even though there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel with more people finding employment. If you are going to be lucky enough to locate work, be prepared to take a healthy pay cut from what you were earning, especially so if you have been out of work for more than six months.  I've not been able to comprehend how some employers think that just because you have been out of work for a few years, means you have not retained your education and ability to work with others. Granted depending on your area of expertise, you may need to brush up on certain aspects of your job, if you are in areas where licensing regulations may change or where there are many advances in technology. But to be expected to rehire in at half of what you were making?  I do believe a drop that steep in salary is uncalled for.

Also current reports are that even college graduates, two years out of college, are still depending on their parents or other family members for some type of financial assistance. Students were tracked and surveyed who started college in 2007 up through 2013 for these statistics.  Not only are they postponing marriage but also having children and owning a home. Even a percentage of them stated that living on their own was unimportant, which I found very interesting.

Of those surveyed, only 49% of the graduates stated they were working a full-time job and of those, approximately half said they still had to rely on family for financial support.  With the full time workers, they earned between 40K and $60K a year, while part time employees were earning between $25K and $40K. The burden of their student loan debts and a poor job market is holding back many "life decisions" that would have normally been made by now in this age bracket. The average graduating college student had approximately $30K to pay out in student loans. When I see that figure, on top of normal living expenses, it is no wonder that they are postponing leaving the "family nest" in order to reduce their monthly living expenses.

As you continue your search for work, use every resource possible and turn every stone because job hunting today is so different than it was just five to six years ago. Today, the magic word seems to be networking. Let every friend and associate you know that you are looking for work. You never know who might know someone who is looking for a person with your education and experience. For example, do you get your car repaired by a specific mechanic or use the same barber to cut your hair, or the same dry cleaners for your clothes? What about letting the people at your church know ? Do you have a social group such as being on a bowling team or bridge group? What about sports activities with your children? Every single person in those environments knows other people who just might need a new employee in their business.