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Top 6 Hottest Job Markets for 2017

Location, Location, Location! – Top U.S. Job Markets for 2017

With 2017 already underway, we have seen some promising reports suggesting the American economic recovery is continuing. Two of the biggest stories so far this year include a strong January Jobs Report and news that the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke 20,000 for the first time in its history.

The most recent jobs report suggests more and more discouraged workers are seeking to get back into the workforce accounting for a small uptick in the unemployment rate. Whether you are new to the workforce, looking to re-enter it after a period of unemployment or just looking for a new place to put down some roots, here’s a list of the top six hottest job markets in the U.S.

1.) Boulder, Colorado

Boulder colorado job market

 

 

 

 

 

Consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the U.S., Boulder, CO has an unemployment rate of 2.2% with a population of just over 100k. Some of the largest employers include the University of Colorado, healthcare facilities, and numerous scientific institutions. Additionally, there is a burgeoning tourism and hospitality industry supporting many small, locally-owned businesses. Known for its well-educated and liberal population, Boulder is a popular choice for people looking to relocate.

2.) Honolulu, Hawaii

jobs in hawaii 2017

 

If sunshine and warm weather are what you are seeking, say aloha to Honolulu, Hawaii. With an unemployment rate of just 2.4%, Honolulu maintains a strong job market bolstered by its tourism and hospitality segment, as well as a large financial services sector. Other large economic sectors include military defense, research and development. However, if you do choose to relocate, be aware that the cost of living is slightly higher than the mainland U.S.

3.) Boston, Massachusetts

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As the economic and cultural capital of the New England, Boston, MA has fared better than many other cities in the region. With unemployment standing at just 2.5%, Boston is an attractive option for people looking to relocate if they don’t mind cold, chilly winters. An incredible density of universities and colleges provides numerous employment opportunities for local residents. Additionally, Boston is an attractive place for those looking to break into the financial services industry.

4.) Provo, Utah

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If outdoor recreation is your passion, consider a move to Provo, UT. Located about an hour south of Salt Lake City, Provo has an unemployment rate sitting at about half the national average, just 2.5%. A major economic powerhouse in the city is Brigham Young University. Additionally, Provo has become an attractive place for software and technology companies.

5.) Fargo, North Dakota

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While it may not be the location of choice for everyone, Fargo, ND has a strong job market bolstered by heavy investments in oil and natural gas. With unemployment sitting at just 2.7%, there are many jobs in fields such as education, healthcare and heavy equipment distribution.

6.) Grand Rapids, Michigan

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Bucking the trend of the rest of the state of Michigan, the mid-sized city of Grand Rapids, MI has maintained a vibrant, dynamic economy. With an unemployment rate of just 3% and a well-known craft beer scene, Grand Rapids has increasingly become a place where millennials have been flocking to begin their careers. While traditionally a manufacturing center, Grand Rapids has successfully transitioned to a more sustainable economic model with heavy activity in healthcare, distribution services, industry, technology and hospitality.

 


Looking to make a career transition this year? Consider updating your resume. Razor Edge Resumes will work with you to tailor your new resume to the job that you deserve. Call us at 1-800-730-3244 to schedule a consultation or email your current resume to resumes@razoredgeresumes.com and have us take a look at it.

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Double Your Salary in 2017

6 Best Jobs With Minimal Training Required

Not interested in taking the traditional, 4-year college route? Stuck in a dead-end job and looking to change your career in order to make more money? While the title of this article may be a tad misleading, as many of these jobs do require specialized skill sets, there are plenty of career options available that don’t require lengthy and expensive education. With unemployment at a 9-year low and the stock market surging, you will be happy to know that now is the optimal time to start exploring your options for a new career. Unfortunately many people settle for unskilled, easy-to-get jobs in the retail and hospitality industries. Even many college graduates who are unsure how to effectively market themselves in the employment market end up settling for low-paying jobs.

best jobs with no education 2017

For those looking to explore new options, the good news is that there are many fast-growing career paths that pay high salaries. Most of them require minor training from vocational or technical schools, which will cost you substantially less than traditional colleges and universities. Several of them even require no previous training besides a high school diploma, where all education occurs on the job or through a paid apprentice program. Lets take a look at some of the six most in-demand, high-paying jobs that require minimal or no training.

1.) Web/Software Developer

Web and Software Developers are some of the most in-demand, high-paying jobs currently available on the market. While many are intimidated by what they see as complicated programming languages or expensive 4-year computer science degrees, the fact is that many of these people who work in this industry do not have extensive experience or training. Fortunately, many of these programming languages are relatively easy to learn. There are plenty of programming bootcamps avaliable as well as free learning services such as Khan Academy. You can prove your real-world skills by contributing to open-source projects on sites like GitHub that you can add to your resume. If you are a motivated, independent learner, this might be the best career for you. The median salary for a Software Developer is $100,690, and for a Web Developer it is $64,970.

2.) Electrician

Ever wonder why people complain about a lack of people in the skilled trades? Its because all of the baby boomers who had those positions made enough money to send their children off to university in the hopes of getting white-collar jobs. The median pay for Electricians is $51,880 and the position is expected to grow at a rate of 14% in the coming years. The position only requires a high school diploma and all of the training is done through a paid, on-the-job apprenticeship program. Contact local electrician unions or contractor associations that sponsor apprenticeship programs for those looking to enter the industry.

3.) Dental Hygienist

If you can brush and floss your own teeth, then chances are you are capable of becoming a Dental Hygienist, however you will have to gain an Associate’s Degree to do it. Luckily, many of these programs are relatively affordable and have night classes that allow working adults to conveniently get a degree. Dental Hygienists assist Dentists with cleaning teeth and educating patients.  The median pay for Dental Hygienists in 2015 was $72,330 and is expected to grow at a rate of 19%. More than half of Dental Hygienists work part time, which makes the position great for people looking for a little side income.

4.) Paralegal

Paralegals assist attorneys in organizing files, drafting documents, conducting research, and communicating with clients. There are Associate’s Degrees and certificate programs available that will help you get a job, but some Paralegals are hired without any relevant experience or education. The median pay in 2015 for Paralegals was $48,810. For those looking to work in a professional, business atmosphere with minimal or no training, this is a great position.

5.) Plumber

Plumbers do more than just fix clogged toilets and leaky sinks. The plumbing industry is growing faster than average at a rate of 12% and Plumbers make a median pay of $50,602. Like with Electricians, this position requires vocational training or a paid apprenticeship. Although job growth is not considerably high, many employers report that demand is high and that they are unable to find enough skilled workers to fill positions. If you are willing to get down and dirty, this may be the career path for you. With some well-rounded business skills, you can even start your own plumbing company.

6.) Network Systems Administrator

Just about every business runs its own computer network now. Network Systems Administrators help keep those networks healthy and operational. While you may hear that this position requires a Bachelor’s Degree, many people get into the industry through on-the-job experience and relevant certificates. Some of the most in-demand network certificates include CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional) and CompTIA Network+. With their special skill set, Network Administrators are well compensated for their time, making a median pay of $77,810.

 


 

Looking for a new job in 2017? Razor Edge Resumes can help you customize your resume for the position you want. Email your resume to resumes@razoredgeresumes.com for a free consultation with an expert writer and learn how we can help.

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What Are the Fastest Growing, Highest Paying Jobs for 2017?

Best Jobs for 2017

best paying jobs in 2017

With the new year quickly approaching, a career change will be at the top of many people’s new year’s resolution lists. The good news is that the employment market is becoming more and more competitive for employers looking to fill positions. According to the November Jobs Report released by the BLS, the unemployment rate is at a nine-year low. In November alone, more than 178,000 new jobs were added, beating expectations and sending the stock market surging.

Let’s take a look at which economic sectors are performing the best and adding the most jobs. The biggest areas of growth were in administrative and support services, healthcare, and professional and business services. Notable gains were also made in the construction sector. Of particular note, residential specialty contracting added more than 15,000 new jobs over from October to November. In the administrative and support services sector, one of the biggest gains in job growth was in employment services, which added more than 21,000 new jobs over the month.

As expected, leisure and hospitality grew at a comfortable rate, with the strongest growth in food services. Accounting and bookkeeping added more than 17,000 new jobs, a surprise to many forecasters. Another surprise in the November Jobs Report was growth in local government, which added more than 14,000 new jobs over the month.

The largest declines were in the retail trade, specifically among clothing and accessory stores, an industry that lost more than 17,000 jobs over the month, largely due to the increased competition from online retailers such as Amazon. The information industry, specifically publishing, broadcasting, and motion pictures also suffered job losses. Among professional and business services sector, which fared well for the most part, job losses were seen in the advertising industry.

With the shifts in the employment market and so many opportunities opening up, many people will be seeking to a career change in the near future. We asked Senior Resume Writer, Graham Nelson, who has more than ten years of experience helping people advance their careers, what advice he would give to people looking to make a career move in 2017. “The new year is a time for reflecting on the skills you have developed and the experiences that have shaped you. Take stock of your skill set and consider how you can impress onto a new employer how you are capable of meeting the upcoming challenges in the new year.” Graham also added, “It is tremendously helpful to meet with a professional if you are considering a career change. A professional will help you assess your skill set, market yourself effectively, and meet your goals.”

Are you considering a career move? Based on data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are six of the fastest growing, high paying occupations to look for in 2017:

1.) Nurse Practitioner

  • Average Salary: $104,740.
  • Growth: 35%
  • New Jobs Expected by 2024: 53,400

2.) Physical Therapist

  • Average Salary: $84,020
  • Growth: 34%
  • New Jobs Expected by 2024: 71,800

3.) Statistician

  • Average Salary: $80,110
  • Growth: 34%
  • New Jobs Expected by 2024: 10,100

4.) Physician Assistant

  • Average Salary: $91,180
  • Growth: 30%
  • New Jobs Expected by 2024: 28,700

5.) Operations Research Analyst

  • Average Salary: $78,630
  • Growth: 30%
  • New Jobs Expected by 2024: 27,600

6.) Personal Financial Advisor

  • Average Salary: $89,160
  • Growth: 30%
  • New Jobs Expected by 2024: 73,900

 


With the new year approaching, we wish you the best of luck on your job search. It is never too early to start looking for a new job, whether it is because you do not have one, are tired of your current one, or just want a change of pace in your life. Remember, a key to getting that initial interview is having a great resume that highlights your skills, accomplishments, and potential. Razor Edge Resumes offers free resume consultations and an array of services for the motivated job seeker. Email your resume to resumes@razoredgeresumes.com or call us at 1-800-730-3244 to speak with a professional resume writer today.

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When a Free Resume Ends Up Costing You More Than a Professional One

Free Resume Makers — a Good Idea?

The most commonly searched keywords regarding resumes inevitably include “free” or “template” in them. Nobody wants to pay for something they think they can do themselves. A quick search will yield dozens of different services and sites offering free assistance with writing your own resume. But before you decide to sign up for any of these services, you ought to do your research on them first. Just like with any industry, even resume writing services has its shady underbelly.

resume maker scam

One of the most common free resume template services involves an application where you provide your information such as name, education, work experience, etc., and the application plugs it automatically into a ready-made template. But before you are allowed to save your document or print it out, you are asked to pay a small, negligible fee, often around $2 or sometimes give your credit card information for a “free” trial that you can supposedly cancel at any time. Not so bad for something other people may pay several hundred dollars for, huh? Think again.

Hidden deep in the fine print, that no one seems to read anymore anyways, is the agreement you make to be charged for an automatically renewing subscription service. Before you know it, your credit card is being charged $40, $50, or even more every month. If you take a look at some of the consumer reviews for some of these “free” resume services, you will find that unfortunately many people do not pay very close attention to their credit card statements and may end up having these reoccurring charges for more than a year. What you thought was “free” or only a couple of bucks ends up turning out to be several hundred dollars or more, depending on when you notice the fraudulent charges.

Oftentimes, you will have little to no luck disputing the charges with your bank or credit card company. If the charges are reoccurring on your account, you will have been assumed to have agreed to them. This is another good reminder to always keep a close eye on your bank and credit card amounts. And good luck trying to dispute the charges with the actual company over the telephone or email. Why would they want to give you the time of day to cancel the charges when hidden fees and surcharges are their bread and butter? Always be suspicious of businesses without verifiable, physical addresses, and do your consumer research beforehand.

Many people who are looking to have a resume written are unemployed and looking to save money wherever they can, so they turn to “free” resume making websites that they believe will improve their chances of securing interviews. The sad reality is that there are many companies out there whose entire business model is based off scamming the poor and destitute with hidden fees and a sub-par product. If you are looking for help writing your resume, always do your research before you hand over any credit card information. Furthermore, ask friends and family what has best worked for them. Legitimate, professional resume writing services may not be for everyone, but they do help a great deal of job seekers. Sometimes the initial investment is well worth the reward. A well-written, effective resume could be the difference between you getting a new job in the next couple of weeks vs. you getting a job in the next couple of months, and all of that lost income will add up.

Actually Free Resume Templates

It is likely you have resume templates already installed on whichever word processing software you have. There are plenty of places where you can legitimately download them for free online and just enter in the necessary information yourself. For many people, this is as far as resume writing goes. Write a simple objective, name the school you went to, describe your work experience, and list any certifications. The problem is that, while templates may give you a basic format outline, it does not tell you what to actually write in it or how to write it. Just as all individuals are different, so should every resume be different.

Remember, free resume templates are designed to grab your attention, not the attention of the people who actually matter, such as hiring managers and recruiters. They may try to wow you with different fonts, graphics, and colors, but this is not what employers are looking for. You may think you will come off as interesting, creative, and eye catching if you used a unique resume template, but in the eyes of the hiring authority it will be clear as daylight that you used just another generic resume template.

When I have been in charge of hiring before, one of my most memorable examples was an individual who described themselves as a “creative type” and “proficient in Microsoft Office.” Their resume formatting and style was a little out of the ordinary for sure, but it was also obvious they used a rather common resume template. Why would I want to hire someone who says they are “creative” and “proficient in Microsoft Office,” if they can’t even format their own resume?

When looking at resumes, hiring authorities want documents that are simple, clean, and get straight to the point. With a competitive job market, a Human Resources official may sift through hundreds of resumes for a single position. They don’t spend too much time on each one, normally just a quick glance before they decide if it goes in the garbage or if the candidate needs a closer look.

A final warning about free resume templates is the question of how Applicant Tracking System (ATS) compliant they are. Many companies, especially large corporations, use ATS software to pre-screen applicants. This software scans the document for things like experience level, skills, certifications, educational background, industry keywords, and more. If you have a strangely formatted resume, it will be difficult for the software to read your resume. Even if you are the perfect candidate and have an otherwise well-written resume, it may get thrown in the garbage before a pair of human eyes ever actually looks at it.


Most people only write resumes a small handful of times in their lives. I know people who have only ever had to write their resumes once and are now well into their fifties with advanced careers. It is not something every one is capable of doing successfully. Like with any legitimate company offering services, a professional resume writing service will offer you a free consultation to sit down and explain what they can offer to you. Be cautious about any company that asks for your credit card information before providing anything. Razor Edge Resumes offers free resume consultations by a professional resume writer. Email your resume to resumes@razoredgeresumes.com or give us a call at 1-800-730-3244 to speak with an expert resume writer today.

 

 

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‘Tis the Season of Giving . . . and Getting . . . a Job

Don’t take a holiday – It’s not too early to start your job search in December

applying for jobs in winter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the most inaccurate pieces of advice for job seekers I hear again and again is that December is the worst time of the year to look for a job.  Instead, as the common knowledge goes, the best time to apply for a new job is in January when companies have settled their hiring budgets for the new year and are looking to take on new employees.

The problem with this logic is, however, that just because businesses may set new budgets at the beginning of the new year, does not mean the beginning of the new year is the ideal time for candidates to start applying. Depending on the industry and location, an effective job search can take 90 days or more. You do not want to start looking in January only to end up finally landing a new job in March. This is especially true if you are currently unemployed. For every week you are without a job, you are missing out on all of the potential income you could be making. There is seldom a good excuse put off the job search until later. Start early and start strong if you want to take advantage of any potential opportunities.

No matter the time of the year, companies are always looking for new workers. Employees quit, retire, or get fired, and positions need to be filled fast no matter what time of year it is. According to the October jobs report, more than 161,000 new jobs were added to the American economy, with the strongest increases seen in health care, professional and business services, and financial activities. Additionally, the number of discouraged workers, those who have stopped looking for work because they believe there are no jobs available to them, declined by 178,000 from the same period last year.  More and more discouraged workers are coming out of the woodwork and rejoining the labor force.

Consider this good news for all job seekers, whether you have been out of work for years, or are a successful business person looking for a career change. While not yet released, the November jobs report is expected to show even greater job growth of approximately 170,000 new positions.

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Regardless of what time of year it is, there are always available positions that businesses and organizations are looking to fill. The longer you wait to begin the job search process, the more you will miss out on these opportunities. With the common wisdom being that December is a poor time to look for a job, you can also be guaranteed that there will be less competition.  Just because business may slow down in some industries toward the end of the year, does not mean they are going to stop looking for new hires. Companies are looking for candidates who can start at the beginning of the new year when business ramps up, not one or two months later.

Don’t underestimate the holidays as an ideal time to network. With business slowing down in some industries, important contacts may have more time on their hands and be willing to meet with you. Attend holiday parties of any professional associations you may belong to, you never know who you may end up meeting. Reach out to friends and family during holiday gatherings.

With the new year approaching, we wish you the best of luck on your job search. It is never too early to start looking for a new job, whether it is because you do not have one, are tired of your current one, or just want a change of pace in your life. Remember, a key to getting that initial interview is having a great resume that highlights your skills, accomplishments, and potential. RazorEdge Resumes offers free resume consultations and an array of services geared towards the motivated job seeker .

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Why You Can’t Do Without a Powerful LinkedIn Presence

Why You Can’t Do Without a Powerful LinkedIn Presence

With more than 467 million users , LinkedIn.com is one of the world’s fastest growing social media networks. Unlike other social platforms such as Facebook, where you share content and develop relationships with people you already know, LinkedIn is designed as an outlet to develop new relationships with people and organizations you don’t yet know. As the world’s leading professional network, LinkedIn has proven to be a successful tool for career development, lead generation, corporate recruitment, and company branding, but with more features than typical social media networks, LinkedIn takes time to learn how to use effectively.

linkedin profile optimization businesses

Career Development

LinkedIn has become the standard networking tool for professionals around the world. Whether you are a recent college graduate entering the workforce, or an established career professional, a personal LinkedIn profile is key to both getting noticed as well as building professional relationships with people inside your industry. However, it is not as simple as just creating a profile and waiting for others to come to you. Learning how to effectively build your profile and market yourself is key to successful networking on LinkedIn.

For jobseekers, you can think of your profile as a kind of expanded resume. Make it personal, but keep it professional. Write an engaging summary that emphasizes approachability and highlights your accomplishments. Think of it as your 60-second marketing pitch. Don’t forget to include a professional looking profile photo as well. Profiles with photos receive 36x more messages and 21x more profile views, than those without photos.

Unlike a resume that you may want to keep to one or two pages, don’t be afraid to expand a little more on your LinkedIn profile. Include things such as volunteer experience, personal and professional awards, organizational memberships, certifications, skills, and a summary of your career goals. Use your profile as an opportunity to convey your personality and approachability. Remember, recruiters are not just looking for candidates that match the job requirements, they are also looking for someone who is a good organizational fit. Don’t forget to reach out and make connections with friends, colleagues, and other individuals in your industry. LinkedIn can conveniently scan your contact list and make suggestions for connections. These individuals can in turn provide recommendations and endorse your skills to add to your credibility.

Get noticed by others in your field by joining and participating in groups. There are thousands of active groups available to join where you can network with others as well as stay up to date on the latest industry trends. Participate in groups by posting articles and making comments. Show others that your active and knowledgeable in your field. Many job openings are never even advertised publicly, only spread via word of mouth, and professional networking has never been more valuable.

Prospective employers will look you up on LinkedIn. Use it wisely to your advantage and make your best impression. Unlike the standard resume format, LinkedIn allows you to express your personality in addition to your professional accomplishments and goals. Used well, there is no better tool available to professionally network and find new opportunities.

Company Branding

Businesses are increasingly using LinkedIn in order to market and maintain their brand. However, unlike other social media platforms such as Pinterest and Facebook, where companies often market their products and services directly for sale, LinkedIn works as a more effective platform to develop relationships and build trust with other businesses and individuals.

Create a business page where you can showcase your organization’s accomplishments and develop effective marketing techniques. With the wealth of marketing data LinkedIn collects on its users, it offers targeting marketing approaches that allow you to engage the audience you want in more effective ways than traditional marketing.

Don’t underestimate the power of publishing content on LinkedIn to attract the attention of others in your industry. Publishing informative and engaging content helps establish your organization as a trusted industry leader. Other individuals can like, comment, and share your content to help attract an even wider audience.

Another useful feature of marketing on LinkedIn is Sponsored InMail. With Sponsored InMail you can send personalized, direct messages to the target audience of your choosing. Sort your audience by a whole host of options in order to find those most likely to be interested in what you have to offer. You don’t need to wait for clients to come to you, you can go directly to them to generate leads and drive brand awareness.

Social media is more important than ever for businesses to build sales and maintain branding, and no platform should be overlooked. As the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn allows business to target those individuals that matter the most. Integrate LinkedIn as part of your digital marketing strategy to help reach the decision makers that can help you build your organization.

Recruitment and Talent Acquisition

Tired of advertising positions on job boards and being flooded with too many generic resumes? The days of posting to job boards and waiting for candidates to come to you are over. More and more businesses are developing an active strategy of discovering and contacting those individuals they are interested in recruiting. As the largest online professional network, LinkedIn is an ideal talent pool for businesses.

With LinkedIn’s Recruiter tool, you can run targeted searches based on everything from headlines, past and present employers, job titles, skills possessed, universities attended, and much more. Once your narrow down your base of potential candidates, you can send out customized messages on LinkedIn, which has proven to be a more effective method than cold calling or sending unsolicited emails.

With the wealth of information an individual can include on their profile, LinkedIn provides recruiters with a much better sense of a potential candidate’s skills, experience, and personality. And with LinkedIn’s endorsement and reference features, you can trust that they are backed up by the good faith of others.

With job hopping more common than ever, most professionals are passively seeking new opportunities to develop their careers, so don’t limit your searches just to those actively seeking new positions. LinkedIn’s job postings feature does now work like traditional job boards. Individuals can customize their profile to automatically suggest specific kinds of positions based on industry, company size, experience level, job type, location, and more. When openings are posted to LinkedIn, they are delivered directly to the individuals feed and provide information such as job requirements, expected duties, company description, and even how many alumni work for the organization. With LinkedIn’s Premium membership, individuals can track how many other people have applied to the position and learn how they stack up against the competition.

best linkedin profile optimization

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With more and more of the most successful professionals choosing LinkedIn as their preferred networking tool, businesses and individuals alike ought to think about how to optimize their presence on the popular social media platform. For job seeking, recruitment and talent acquisition, and targeted marketing, few services can compare to the power of LinkedIn’s approach. Take advantage of all the features and watch your personal career or business thrive in the digital world.

 


 

Interested in looking for new job opportunities? Let the professionals at Razor Edge Resumes help you market yourself. Find out more about what we can do. Email your resume to resumes@razoredgeresumes.com for a free consultation with a professional resume writer or use our online scheduler to make an appointment today.

 

 

 

 

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Just How Bad Was the September Jobs Report?

Just How Bad Was the September Jobs Report?

unemployment rate chart

 

Last night’s debate, Donald Trump, and the September jobs report

In last night’s third presidential debate, Republican candidate, Donald Trump called September’s job report “anemic,” “terrible,” and said that he will “win easily . . . it was so bad.” Beyond the wedge issues of the culture wars, such as gun control and abortion, the one thing all presidential candidates can agree on is improving the economy. What they don’t agree on, however, is how to achieve that economic improvement.

There seems to be little confidence in either candidate’s plans for continuing the economic recovery. During last night’s presidential debate, moderator Chris Wallace suggested that Hillary Clinton’s plan for job growth was too similar to Obama’s stimulus plan, which led to the lowest GDP growth since 1949. As for Trump’s plan to create 25 million jobs, Wallace commented that even conservative economists don’t think the numbers add up and that it is unrealistic.

With growing skepticism about either candidate’s ability to provide a meaningful plan for job growth and economic improvement, let’s take a look at the September 2016 Jobs Report released earlier this month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Compared to last month’s job report, very little has changed. The unemployment rate measured this September hovered around 5.0%, which is about the same as it was the same month last year, but down 1 point from 6.0% during September 2014. In general, the unemployment rate hovered around 5% since August 2015.

This is relatively good news for those seeking a job or looking to change their career. In total, 156,000 new jobs were created, which is slightly less than what economic predictions forecasted. The industry with the largest job growth was professional and business services, where employment rose by 67,000. Following this, health care had the next highest job growth, increasing payroll by 33,000 jobs. Employment in most other major industries remained stagnant since August.

Another bit of good news is the increase in average hourly earnings for employees on private, non-farm payrolls. While the average hourly wage rose by only 6 cents since the previous month, over the year average hourly earnings have increased by 2.6%. While this may seem low, it is keeping up with sluggish inflation. As the labor market has become more competitive, more people have been re-entering the labor force. Labor-force participation had a small uptick since the previous month, increasing by 0.1%, but over the year has increased by 0.5%. This increase in participation helps explain why the unemployment rate has remained relatively steady over the year. Increases in job growth are drawing discouraged would-be workers back into the labor market.

Well the September jobs report was not exactly stellar, modest gains were generally made across the board. Wages are increasing, jobs are being added, and more people are being drawn into the work force. So why exactly was it so “terrible” according to Donald Trump?

Trump workers on strike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Trump campaign’s press release on the September jobs report, Senior Economic Advisor, David Malpass draws attention to the millions of Americans being left out of the Obama economic recovery. In particular, Malpass focuses on the labor-force participation rate of 62.9%, which is near a historic low. While it is true that over 94 million Americans are out of the job market, economists at the Wall Street Journal suggest that this low rate is due mostly to an aging population and that it is not expected to rise significantly at all, but rather continue to decrease as the baby-boomer generation retires in increasingly large numbers.

Another criticism of the September jobs report by the Trump campaign is that the economy is adding too many low-wage service sector jobs and not enough jobs that allow for one to support a family. While certainly the increase in low-paying service sector jobs, such as in hospitality and retail, has been a long-time trend, it is unclear whether or not the economy will see any kind of increase in manufacturing jobs anytime soon. Additionally, with the decline in union participation and the rolling out of two-tier payroll programs, many new jobs added in manufacturing do not pay as well as they once did. Whether this trend will reverse itself remains unclear, and Trump has little to say about how he plans on going about it.

So what are the takeaways of the most recent jobs report? While it is not exactly the most encouraging news, neither is it very discouraging. New jobs continue to be added, tightening the labor market and drawing discouraged job seekers out of the woodwork. Education still remains one of the top indicators of employment. People with a bachelor’s degree or higher have an unemployment rate of 2.5%, a number unchanged since the same time last year. Compare that to people with less than a high school diploma, for whom the unemployment rate stands at 8.5%, which is a startling increase of almost one whole percentage point compared to the same time last year.

While in a perfect world for job seekers, the unemployment rate would be hovering just above 0%, it is safe to say that we have made significant progress since the economic recession of 2008 – 2010, when unemployment peaked at 10%. For Trump to call the latest jobs report “terrible” and “anemic” is to overstate the facts, but he is trying to appeal to one of his core constituencies, those who feel left out of the economic recovery and unable to adapt to the changing demands and circumstances of the labor market, such as the decline in manufacturing jobs. If Trump can rally this segment of the population, one that does not traditionally have high rates of voter turnout, perhaps he still has a chance of victory this November, but I hesitate to share his confidence that he will “win easily.”

For a previous piece I wrote on Trump and the economy, you can visit Trump and Clinton? Blessing or Curse?

 

 

 

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How to Quit Your Job and Find Something Better

How to Quit Your Job and Find Something Better

Do I have to write a resignation letter? How much notice do I need to give? Can I still use my supervisors as professional references?

quit your job
There comes a time for many of us when we decide to leave a job. Whether it is because we have another opportunity already lined up, or because we just really hate our boss, there are similar steps to go through to make your resignation process as painless and amiable as possible.

Think it Through

Leaving a job is an important life decision that requires a great deal of thought. Put time and effort into planning and thinking it through before you actually make the final decision. If you put the decision off for too long, you may one day find yourself at your wit’s end and quit on the spot. Give yourself ample time to make the right choice. Ask a significant other or a close friend for advice. If your job is truly unsatisfying, they will probably have picked on that already. An unsatisfying job can be a significant source of stress and discomfort and sometimes making the decision to quit can be the best thing for you.

Begin Looking for a New Job

Take some time to explore the employment market and seek out other opportunities that interest you. The last thing you want to do is quit your job and find yourself unemployed without a reliable source of income. Start contacting potential employers and sending out resumes. Remember, the best time to start looking for a new job is when you already have one. If you do go to interviews, you’ll likely be asked why you want to leave your current position. Remember to be tactful and avoid talking poorly about your current employer. Let the interviewer know that you plan on giving ample notice to your current employer; they will respect the fact that you are resigning responsibly. For more resources on job searching and interview advice, visit Job Search Success Central.

Write a Resignation Letter

If you have made up your mind about leaving your job, begin preparing to give notice to your current employer. Write a resignation letter that clearly states your intention to leave the organization. In your letter, give proper notice for when you will be leaving. The common rule of thumb is to give a minimum of two weeks’ notice. Typically, the higher up in the organization you are, the longer it will take to find a replacement, so you may want to consider giving more notice so your employer can begin hiring someone new to take over that you can pass your expertise onto. Also, carefully consider the timing of your resignation. If you leave in the middle of an important project where your expertise is crucial, this well not reflect well on you. Remember, it’s a small world and colleagues will talk about you with others. If possible, choose a time frame for departure that would be most convenient for your employer.

In your resignation letter, you do not need to give your reasons for leaving if you do not want to. Avoid saying anything negative or giving any harsh criticisms. Let your supervisor know that you are willing to help out in the transition and want to make the process as smooth as possible for all involved parties. Even if you really hate your boss, try to leave with some kind parting words. Remember a few positive moments from your time working and thank your employer for the experience you have gained in the position. Even if there is animosity between you and your boss, keeping your departure as amiable as possible will work out the best in the long run.

Let your Supervisor Know in Person

If possible, schedule an in-person meeting with your boss to deliver your resignation letter. While bad news can be difficult to break for some people, having the courtesy to deliver it in person will show that you are a mature and professional individual. It will make a better impression and demonstrate that you are responsible enough to show professional courtesy when making a difficult decision.

Network with Colleagues

After you have delivered your letter of resignation, finish your last few weeks with a strong performance. While you may be tempted to slack off considering that you are leaving soon, remember that your colleagues are still watching and these people may prove to be important references down the road. If there are any other influential people in your company that you want to stay on good terms with, kindly write them a short note expressing your gratitude. Especially in smaller, niche industries, the professional network can be very limited and people will ask around about you when you apply to other organizations. Leaving on a positive note with your colleagues will go a long way in building your reputation when you begin applying for other organizations.

Quitting a job often leaves people with a big sigh of relief. Planning ahead and making your resignation as smooth as possible is key to preventing that sigh of relief from turning into panic and despair when you can’t find another job. If you don’t have another job lined up already, turn job searching into your full-time job. Don’t forget to update your resume with your most recent work experience. Consider working with a professional resume writer to find the best way to market yourself to potential employers. If you want to know if your resume needs help, email it to resumes@razoredgeresumes.com for a free review or schedule a consultation to meet with an experienced resume writer today. Research companies that you think you would fit in well. Find a position that you would enjoy doing for a living. Turn quitting your job into an opportunity to develop your career and find something you love doing.

 

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How to Succeed in the Skype Interview

How to Succeed in the Skype Interview

Skype interview

 

 

 

 

 

As the job search process becomes increasingly internet-based, more and more companies are conducting job interviews over Skype. Skype is an easy-to-use, simple voice and video messaging software that can be downloaded for free. It allows for a face-to-face meeting without the inconvenience of having to travel to meet in person. Skype interviews are particularly common when you apply to positions that are far away. It allows the prospective employer to get a good sense of the job candidate before they go through the expense of flying them out for an in-person meeting.

If you have not used Skype before, it is important that you get familiar with the software before you begin conducting the interview. You will need a webcam and microphone in order to take advantage of Skype’s capabilities. Many newer computers already include these features, but you will want to test them out beforehand to ensure that the quality is up to par. Practice making a few calls beforehand to friends or family to see how well the sound and video quality are. Ask if they can clearly understand everything you say. The last things you want to happen come interview time are technical problems that delay the start of the interview. It’s no different than showing up to an interview late and will reflect poorly on you.

Conduct a Skype interview in the same manner you would an in-person interview. Remember to dress professionally and be well groomed. Even if they will only be seeing your face, get in the proper mindset by wearing your interview attire. Just because you can do the interview lying in bed in your pajamas doesn’t mean you should. Additionally, choose a professional username and profile picture when you set up your Skype account. Just like you wouldn’t want to include gamerguy2008@yahoo.com as your email address on your resume, you wouldn’t want to use it as your Skype ID either. If possible, use your professionally sounding email address as your Skype ID.

Choose an appropriate spot in your house to conduct the interview. It should be clean and uncluttered. The fewer things in the background, the better, so try to choose a blank wall. If necessary, buy some large, neutral-colored paper to put behind you if you can’t find a suitable, uncluttered place in your home to use as a background. Choose a comfortable chair you can sit upright in, i.e., preferably not a recliner.

Find a quiet place where you can be alone during the interview. Just because you are conducting the interview from your home, doesn’t mean you should simultaneously be taking care of your kids or waiting for the laundry to finish. The last thing you want during your interview is any background noise. It will distract you and make it difficult for the interviewer to listen to what you have to say. Unnecessary background noise can look about as bad as having your cell phone ring tone go off in the middle of an in-person interview. If you have kids, have somebody else temporarily take care of them while you are conducting your interview. Consider putting an “Interview in Progress – Do Not Enter” sign on the door to minimize the risk any accidental intruders who may disrupt your interview. Don’t forget to turn off any notifications that may pop up on your computer and make a noise or distract you, such as your email client or a social media application.

When you are setting up your computer for the interview, try to position the camera at a level that is just above your eyes, as this is a much more flattering angle. This may require you to elevate your computer a little bit, for example in the case of a laptop. Prop some books underneath to give it a little more height. Test out the video quality. Sit upright in your chair; don’t hunch over your computer like many people do. You will want your head and shoulders to be fully visible in the video feed while sitting upright. Test this out ahead of time with a friend and ask how you look. Also, ask about the sound and video quality. Make sure there is no audio feedback or echo. If the quality is poor at all, you may need to purchase a new microphone or webcam before your interview. You may also consider using a headset to get the best sound quality and block out any background noise. Make sure to get any technical kinks out ahead of time so you are not struggling with them when it comes time to conduct the interview.

During the interview, practice the same interview techniques you would at an in-person meeting. Try to maintain eye contact by looking at the camera instead of the screen. This may seem awkward at first, but you will appear more presentable and personable to the interviewer. Besides the difference in format, conduct the interview the same as you would any other. Remember, the interviewer is already investing their time in setting up the Skype interview and hearing what you have to say, so make every word count.

To test your interview skills, take interactive interview quiz. For more advice on conducting your Skype interview, download our free Job Interview Guide E-Book.

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