The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics just announced new and bigger unemployment numbers – 10.2% – the highest in 26 years. But what do the numbers really mean? What might it mean to you?
Understanding Where We’re At
Let me try to touch you with the truth about unemployment by statistics and stories. First the stats!
People losing jobs…
- 15,700,000 people in U.S. out of work in October.
- That’s 558,000 people more unemployed than in September.
People out of work a long time…
- The average duration of unemployment was nearly 26.9 weeks – that’s more than 6 months!
- 35.6% of unemployed (5.6 million people) unemployed more than 27 weeks – highest % since World War 2.
Unemployment x2 in 2 years…
- Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons has risen by 8.2 million.
- The unemployment rate has grown by 5.3 percentage points.
- Gross Domestic Product grew at a 3.5% annualized rate between July and September.
- Labor productivity increased at a 9.5% annual rate during last quarter.
What Does It Mean to Me?
First of all, while economy is up, employment is down. Secondly, employment recovery always lags behind economic recovery. This time it may be a longer lag. Some are saying it will get worse before it gets better. Others are saying it will be 2011 or 2012 before it gets better. Thirdly, the world of work is not just up and down, it is different. It is a NEW world of work, where you have to think ME Inc. You have to work to find work. And it is always better together with others!
Here’s the good news. Below are notes and quotes from emails I received through Crossroads Career ministries across the country. Great stories in the midst of bad statistics:
- Praise God! Please worship with me; He has provided me an opportunity to enter into full time employment as Presentation Specialist. He is faithful, even when we are not, and I know He is with me as I take this leap of faith. It has been an incredible season of job transition, and I’ve learned a great deal about networking, resumes, interviews etc. Thank you for all of your prayers and support! I ask that you keep them coming as I transition in the office and adjust to the style, projects and industry. Please pray that I would live with integrity and find beautiful opportunities to serve my colleagues and clients and build strong relationships. Mostly though, I hope to serve and glorify God as I work.
– Career explorer
- I’m SO pleased to tell you that after a long nine (9) months of diligent search, I’ve accepted a position as HR Mgr. for United Way. I start on Monday. THANK YOU for listening, encouraging, and sharing hope (and disappointment). You’re all proof and a reminder that people care, and that we need to always keep them at the forefront of our (workday) priorities. I hope that’s a lesson that we all (the 90% of us fortunate enough to be working full-time).
– Ken, career explorer
- Praise God! I wanted to tell each of you THANK YOU for all your help, guidance, prayers and wonderful wisdom. I have been off work only a short while (June 26 layoff date) and with the guidance and support from the people I’ve met through the amazing CCN ministry, I have been able to create another opportunity with an excellent organization.
– Laura, career explorer
- Thanks guys! That was the big 5 -0-! Funny, when you are firmly in the palm of the Lord’s hand things like turning 50 don’t really have an impact. The important thing I have most reflected on as I cross this milestone in my life is 1) Am I walking in HIS path and 2) How have I made an impact in serving the Lord according to His plan? The Crossroads ministry team has certainly enabled me to use the gift and talents the Lord has given me to serve HIM! Without it I would find myself lacking. Thanks for being part of this ministry.
– Julie, career explorer
So, what’s your story?