Obama to Unveil New Jobs Plan

If you happen to be one of the millions of unfortunate Americans who have been out of work for months at a time, you may have feelings of desperation and resentment towards the government for not taking further steps to remedy the unemployment situation.

As of right now, 14 million Americans are unemployed. This number does not include the millions more who have given upon on their job search after months of making no progress and those who have chosen to take part-time positions in order to fill in the gaps. Of the 14 million out of work, more than 6 million have been unemployed long-term. The current national unemployment rate is over 9%.

These numbers are definitely not music to the ears of the American working class. The Great Recession (apparently over) has given way to a weak recovery, and progress has been sluggish. In addition, a persistent fear among the long-term unemployed is that they might never find jobs again and have to live on government assistance for the rest of their lives.

It’s easy to point out the negative, but there is hope for the future. According to a recent article by the Associated Press, President Obama plans to unveil a new economic strategy to boost the economy and get Americans back to work in early September. Just after Labor Day, Obama will deliver a speech detailing his plans for helping out the unemployed and getting them back to the workforce.

Obama’s new bag of economic tactics will include:

  • Tax cuts to help the middle class
  • A build-up America construction program
  • Help for the long-term unemployed
  • Plans to tax the wealthy more in order to help cut the deficit

It may very well be that Obama is sweating about being re-elected for his second term. This makes sense. The 2012 election is right around the corner. According to the Associated Press, no incumbent in recent years has ever been re-elected for a second term with unemployment rates so high.

If you ask the Republican Party, they will probably tell you that President Obama is simply trying to get on our good side in order to be re-elected. But you have to take into consideration that times were tough when he stepped into office, and it usually takes more than three years to turn the entire economy around. Progress has been made; slowly but surely. The only way to go now is up.

So do not despair. There is hope on the horizon. We can only hope that Obama’s new jobs proposal will really help to ignite the economy and get us back to work in full force. In the meantime, it might be a good idea for the long-term unemployed to step in and pick up a part-time. As crazy as it might sound, it’s easier to find a job when you’ve already got one.

Persistence is Key in Job Search

Finding a new job can be tough these days. Unemployment rates are dropping, but the job market and the economy have not fully recovered from the lasting effects of the Great Recession. We are nowhere near the state of job stability and prosperity that existed ten years ago.

If you are one of the unfortunate individuals that has had to look for work in our sluggish economic climate, you know all too well about the trials and tribulations of the job search. It’s not enough anymore to simply peruse the classifieds or walk into a business that has a “Help Wanted” sign hanging in the window. Nowadays, it takes ingenuity and perseverance to land a job.

Before you even start looking for a job, think first about what you want to do. Even though it may seem that any job is better than no job at times, you don’t want to be stuck doing something you can’t stand. It’s important to do a self evaluation before putting yourself out there in the job world.

Think about your skills. What are you good at, and what do you like to do? Once you have figured this out, you should then highlight your qualities that will be most useful in your job and your search for work. You might have to spend a few hours revamping your resume, but it will pay off in the long run.

After you have assessed yourself and determined what you are good at, the next step is to figure out where you want to work. Although the easiest method in looking for a job may be to just log on the Internet and check out who has job listings up, this is not always the most effective procedure. Think about how many other people are doing the exact same thing. Why would you want to apply for a job that one hundred other desperate souls have already attempted?

Most positions these days are not filled through online job listings. A lot of companies don’t even post openings online. Many jobs are filled through word of mouth or by people going out of their way to track down work.

One of the best ways to get a job is to pick a company that you want to work for and do your research. What types of jobs do they have there, and who is in charge of hiring? Figure out what position might suit you best, and then track down the higher-ups so you can communicate with them directly. This way, you won’t end up being just another name on an endless stack of resumes.

So if you really want to find a job in today’s economy, you must be persistent and able to single yourself out from the crowd. Businesses want to hire people that are unique and special and capable of performing the task at hand. It’s up to you to convince them that you are the right person for the job.

How to Use Social Media to Get a Job

The job market has changed quite a bit since the days of perusing the classifieds and beating the pavement. These days, it’s important to be aware of your online presence and how you might present yourself to potential employers. Social media is a wild frontier. There are a lot of possibilities, but you can also build up a bad reputation if you are not careful.

Most companies look at applicants’ online profile before considering them for a position or even an interview. So it pays to keep your nose clean. Posting up those pictures of your drunken debacle out on the town last weekend might not be the best idea. Your potential bosses most likely do not care to see you shooting Jager bombs or chugging beers.

Social media can be beneficial in your job search. It’s all about using your connections. If you are on Facebook, you probably have over one hundred friends. And out of these one hundred friends, there’s bound to be somebody working in an establishment that you might be interested in. Since most jobs these days are landed by word of mouth, it’s important to utilize your connections to the fullest.

This does not mean posting on your Facebook wall that you can’t wait to get a new job so you don’t have to work at that crap place you do now. This is another area where you have to watch your back because your co-workers or current bosses might be checking out your social media profile when you are least aware.

Contrary to popular belief and the influence of Mark Zuckerberg and Hollywood, it’s not all about Facebook either. There are plenty of other social media platforms out there; some even more helpful in your job search.

LinkedIn is a great resource for those looking to establish professional connections. In addition to hooking up with people who might be able to aid you in your job search, you can also post your resume and credentials to let all the headhunters out there know what you’re all about.

The cool thing about LinkedIn is that it’s a place where like-minded individuals come to meet other professionals and job-seekers. Lots of employers use LinkedIn to see who’s out there and who might be good for their company.

Establishing a sound online reputation might take a significant amount of time and effort, but in the long run it can pay off. The few hours that you invest now into hyping up yourself online might benefit you in dollars and cents in the near future.

The next time you are on Facebook, stop worrying about what your friends are doing and start making a good name for yourself. Somebody out there is looking at you.

Jobs in America

No matter what they say, the Great Recession is still upon us. You can go ahead and listen to the news all you want, But who out there in America is not struggling these days? The job market is hanging by a thin thread, and if you are lucky enough to be working in this day and age, do yourself a favor and work that job with all your might.

If you listen to Obama, we are supposedly in the clear and have nothing to worry about. Not to say that he’s not doing his job, but the United States of America is very far from being in the age of prosperity.

As an advocate for Jobnab and other related sites, one learns a thing or two about the job trade. First of all, you learn that spitting out resume after cover letter after resume after cover letter is completely pointless and an utter waste of time. You will just end up being another sheet of paper in the endless stack.

Another lesson learned in spending time researching the job market is that times are tough out there. It’s not 1995, and employers are no longer waving fatty paychecks at every new prospect walking down the street. You actually have to work for your money these days.

Before you can start making money, you quite obviously have to get the job first. When you apply for a job, keep in mind that there are probably one hundred other equally-qualified or better candidates applying for the same position. You are not special.

You have to differentiate yourself from the crowd. In order to get a job these days, you have to stand out. Not to say that you should wear bright clothing or sport a Mohawk, but you need to make yourself noticed. Otherwise, you are just another poor sap looking for a job – kind of like searching for water in the desert.

The most important thing you can do when you go in and apply for a job somewhere is to highlight your skills. Hype yourself up. One can take freedom with words on a resume and exaggerate a little bit. You don’t need to lie, but go ahead and turn that summer job waiting tables into a customer service position – same thing, different words.

In the meantime, before you hit it big playing the lottery or gambling on the horse races, check out Jobnab for some awesome opportunities out there. A job is a job, and any kind of work is better than no work at all. So instead of sitting around waiting for Obama to hand you your dream job, go out there and make it happen.

Social Media Background Checks

Before you go venting on the Internet, speaking out your radical views, or posting pictures of yourself getting drunk or naked, first pause, take a deep breath and think about who might have access to this online evidence of yourself.

It’s nothing new that employers have taken into account potential employees’ online presence, including their comments and photos on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Myspace, in their hiring process. But according to a recent article in the New York Times, one company from Santa Barbara, CA has taken the social media background check to the next level.

Social Intelligence, which started a year ago, provides employers with complete files of prospective employees. The company researches many different sites on the Internet looking for both positive and negative information on applicants.

The positive information might include such things as accolades or evidence of community involvement. Say you participated in the last 5K run across town. That might show up. Or maybe you are deeply involved in the local community service scene. This would probably also appear in your profile.

The positive information will only help your cause as a job candidate. It’s the negative stuff that employers are most interested in, and what you really have to watch out for. Certain criteria that are taken into effect and reported to employers include racist remarks, reference to drug use, partying, nudity, violent characteristics or any other type of questionable behavior. Just when you thought you nailed that job interview, that week-long party in Vegas with pictures and videos to prove it might sneak up on you and shatter all your dreams.

Some may argue that the service provided by Social Intelligence is unethical and not relevant to job performance. In response to such accusations, Social Intelligence will point out that the information they look up is widely available to the entire public online.

In addition, all of the comments, photos and other potentially harmful content they report exclude those pertaining to the topics that are deemed off limits for employers during interviews. As determined by federal employment laws, these prohibited subjects of discussion include religion, race, marital status and sexual orientation.

Even so, how does all of this information determine what kind of employee the candidate will be? Maybe they like to party on the weekends, and maybe they do harbor some questionable world views. But as long as they show up for work on time and do a good job, what’s the difference, right?

Employers can argue here that a prospective employee’s off-the-clock behavior is a good indicator of their personality and therefore what kind of worker they will be. But in the case of the job applicant, this seems entirely unfair. Not every employed person out there is a public figure, so they should not all be treated as such. As if criminal background checks and credit reports weren’t enough, if you are looking for a job these days, apparently it pays to keep your nose clean all of the time.

California Leads Nation in Clean Economy Jobs

A recent study by the Brookings Institute shed a little light on clean economy or “green” jobs. Until now, little has been known about this sector of the workforce because of no standard definition as to what constitutes a green job, and hard facts concerning the issue have also been hard to come by.

The research found that of all the 50 states in our nation, California was in the lead for the highest number of clean economy jobs, with 320,000. Of these jobs, 90,000 exist within the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. These jobs may include positions in manufacturing, renewable energy and agriculture.

Clean economy jobs have been a hot topic this past decade and with good reason. The Brookings Institute surveyed 100 of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, since these are the areas where most green jobs are located. Of all the clean economy jobs out there, 64% exist within our nation’s top 100 metro areas, including 75% of the newer positions created between 2003 and 2010.

Within these metropolitan areas, their clean economies can be broken down into four different categories:

  • Service-Oriented
  • Manufacturing
  • Public Sector
  • Balanced

A service-oriented clean economy would be a city that revolves around and relies on a mass transit system, such as New York City and its subway system. Manufacturing clean economies would be those that house a large number of industrial jobs aimed at creating greener products, such as the electric vehicle industry in Detroit. Public sector clean economies include state capitals, with many city and government employees working for the greener good. Finally, a balanced green economy would be a metropolitan area that incorporates many of these categories at the same time, such as a city like Los Angeles.

Although California does have the highest number of green jobs in the country, Alaska and Oregon actually have the largest amount per worker. Regionally, the South has the highest number of clean economy jobs in general, and the West has the highest per worker.

Nationwide, the US employs 2.7 million workers in clean economy jobs. Although the definition of what this really means still remains somewhat ambiguous, a green job can include any position involved in the production of goods or provision of services with environmental benefits. These can be jobs that have been around for a long time, including those in public service such as wastewater treatment or mass transit. And these can also jobs in the new frontiers of the green economy, such as renewable energy jobs like solar, wind, hydro and biofuel.

Besides the fact that the clean economy continues to grow and will provide more and more jobs for the future, you might be wondering what this really means for you as a worker. The good news here is that the study by the Brookings Institute also found that the median wages in the clean economy are 13% higher than the overall median US wages. So upon gaining employment in the green sector, not only will you bettering our environment, you might also be making a little more money.

Auto Industry Making a Comeback?

If you read most news publications, they will tell you that the Great Recession ended two years ago. Perhaps the writers at these newspapers and magazines are not in touch with the American public or maybe they are just taking President Obama’s word for it, but it seems that we are far from being out of the dark. Little by little the economy is turning around, but this is taking a lot longer than originally expected.

On a more positive note, and in the trend of economic progress, one sector of the workforce is currently experiencing a hiring spree; the auto industry. A recent article by the Associated Press reported that since 2009, there has been a 12% increase in the number of workers employed by the auto industry, from 623,000 to 700,000. This is not too shabby for two of the Big Three (Chrysler and General Motors) receiving government bailouts to save them from untimely deaths just two years ago.

The Midwest has seen the biggest gains in employment in auto manufacturing jobs, and maybe they deserve it more than anyone else. Have you been to Detroit lately? Probably not… I don’t think anyone has. For a city that is near ruins, they need a little boost to get back on their feet.

The AP reported that General Motors will be hiring 2,500 employees in the Detroit Area to manufacture the much-anticipated new Chevrolet Volt. In Tennessee last month, Volkswagen opened up a new plant and hired 2,000. Honda is also getting in on the action, hiring 1,000 in Indiana to meet demands for production of the Civic.

The auto industry is hiring much faster than other sectors of the workforce, including health-care providers and the federal government. And just two years ago, auto sales sunk down to a thirty-year low.

One thing’s for sure; it’s definitely nice to see good news concerning the auto industry. Along with housing, the auto biz has suffered horribly from the recession and they could use a break. In fact, it’s nice to see good news concerning the job market in the US at all. It seems like every time you open up a newspaper, all you see are headlines of cutbacks and lay-offs. Where is the love?

Perhaps this boom within the auto industry is a sign of good times to come. America has been through a lot this past decade, and it’s time we came back out on top. We may never again achieve the prosperity and financial security once held by many citizens across the country, back in the good old days. But from here, there is only one way to go, and that is up.

I may never work within the auto industry. My hands are much too delicate to manufacture vehicles and deal with parts. But I do salute the honorable citizens that build the cars which helped make our country stand out among the rest. Maybe the recent Fourth of July holiday has got me feeling patriotic, but I believe that America can once again prosper, and maybe this is our turning point.