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10 Reasons for Unemployment

Mar 13, 2012 / Workforce / Trackback

Real­time live data isn’t avail­able from the United states Depart­ment of Labor, so the sta­tis­tics lag two months. Today, the Jan­u­ary 2012 noti­fi­ca­tion arrived at my inbox and depend­ing on who you are, Ihave­some star­tling if not sober­ing details to share about last year.

Brace your­self…

Over the 12 months end­ing in Jan­u­ary 2012, hires totaled 50.2 mil­lion and sep­a­ra­tions totaled 48.3 mil­lion, yield­ing a net employ­ment gain of 2.0 mil­lion. These fig­ures include work­ers who may have been hired and sep­a­rated more than once dur­ing the year.

You may be won­der­ing why you were not one of the lucky 50.2m to be hired and why you are still unem­ployed — how did those jobs pass you by?

The aver­age num­ber of open jobs across the US each month is 3.5m. Divide that by the362 met­ro­pol­i­tan sta­tis­ti­cal areas across the coun­try and it means that most likely there are an aver­age of some­where around 9,700 job open­ings around your area each month…

You are able to work but aren’t hav­ing suc­cess find­ing a job? There are a vari­ety of vari­ables involved in “why” that is to include:

  1. Unwilling/unable to relo­cate to where your skills/experience are needed
  2. Your job search could ben­e­fit from more breadth and depth for you to dis­cover open­ings that are a good match
  3. Your total com­pen­sa­tion expec­ta­tions are unre­al­is­tic and you opt out, hold­ing out for some­thing better
  4. Your sub­jec­tive opin­ion of what you are qual­i­fied for is not real­is­tic or com­pet­i­tive with other candidates
  5. What you sub­mit (phone screen, rsum, interview/presentation skills) needs enhance­ment to truly reveal what you bring to the table
  6. Your rep­u­ta­tion pre­cedes you — in a neg­a­tive way
  7. Criminal/credit/reference back­ground checks and/or drug screens are not your friends
  8. You have a high sup­ply skill set where there is a low or rare demand and you aren’t will­ing or pre­pared to do some­thing else
  9. You have not worked (includes sig­nif­i­cant vol­un­teer work) in so long, your employ­ment gap makes you less com­pet­i­tive than peer candidates
  10. You are not will­ing to take a job for less money or a less impres­sive title than the last one you had

Call me a meany but I’m pretty cer­tain that if you have been unem­ployed for a few months or longer that one or more of these 10 rea­sons is why and you are not able or will­ing to own up to it and move past it to get back in the sad­dle. There are usu­ally solu­tions for all of the above but they require flex­i­bil­ity, and some even require what you may feel would be a sacrifice.

You know what? Do it any­way.… You’ll earn more than on unem­ploy­ment com­pen­sa­tion, boost your self-esteem, be in a posi­tion to net­work as an employed indi­vid­ual in a pro­fes­sional set­ting, stop the grow­ing gap on your rsum, and reap the reward of a day’s pay for a day’s work rather than col­lect­ing on an insur­ance pol­icy — even if it’s not in the amount you are accus­tomed to.

If you want to read the whole report you can find it here.

Have I missed an 11th reason?


Karla Porter
Karla Porter

Doug - You extracted the essence in one phrase "ulti­mately we are respon­si­ble for our own employ­ment circumstances".

Doug Hertel
Doug Hertel

Karla, I'm not sure that there is a clear 11th (or more) reason, but I appreciate the thought you put into this list -- as well as the risk you have taken to share it. I'll let others debate the validity or the completeness of the list. The underlying theme from your list, as I read it, is that ultimately we are responsible for our own employment circumstances.