The US Unemployment Scenario – Going From Bad To Worse

Now that the US unemployment rate has broken the all important 10% mark, job hunters find themselves in a spot of concern and pundits find it ever so difficult to explain away this scary downward trend. Even though it’s hard for the average working American to be optimistic about the current unemployment scenario; some pundits and experts (including President Obama) are predicting an improvement in the job market by early next year – only time will tell if this will come to be or will this prediction too find itself being replaced by another one with a longer timeline.

On a more pessimistic note, David Rosenberg, Chief economist at the Gluskin Sheff & Associates, believes that the unemployment rate will rise up to a crippling 13 percent. To get a feel of how bad a plus 10% and plus 13% unemployment rate actually is, consider the fact that after World War II, the highest unemployment rate was 10.8 percent back in the year 1982 and the US has not seen a 13% unemployment rate since the year 1948 (Labor Department data).

By the same token, the underemployed are those people who are doing part time jobs but would prefer a full time one and also those people who have given up on looking for a job altogether. In regards to this, what’s even worse is the fact that the underemployment rate has sky rocked as well by reaching a staggering a 17.5 percent last month – which is the highest since 1994.

The best advice for those who are employed is to try and stay employed – learn new skills, network and find ways of adding more value to your organization. For those who are unemployed, it’s best to use the extra time to enhance your skill sets and, if possible, to upgrade your academic education.

The fact of the matter is that organizations need people who can add unique value either by upping sales, by improving services or by finding unique ways of cutting costs. Believe it or not, but these gloomy economic times can also be perceived as a great time to exercise ingenuity and to try out new things.

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