Category Archives: demographics

Ding Dong, The MANcession’s Dead

Great news for those of us born with the Y chromosome: The so-called “mancession,” which saw employment among men decline by more than 5.2  million between late 2007 and the end of 2009, may finally be over, according to the prolific folks at outplacement-consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Since January 2010, male employment has risen by almost 1.7 million, according to Challenger, which uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Just within the last 12 months alone, 686,000 men have found jobs–with the caveat that the unemployment rate among males is still at 8.9 percent.

Women, on the other hand, now seem to be faring more poorly than men on the jobs front–only 365,000 of them have found jobs since January 2010, while the number of employed women has fallen by 85,000 in the last 12 months. With male-dominated industries like construction, auto manufacturing and financial services shedding jobs like crazy earlier in the recession, it seemed that men were bearing the brunt of the economic downturn. Today, amidst the putative recovery, government cutbacks and slashed education budgets mean that women are now dealing with a disproportionate share of job losses in part becuase the aforementioned sectors are dominated by women–for example, women account for 62 percent of local-government workforces, according to Challenger. So, it’s been an equal-opportunity downturn after all …

‘Do You Mind if I Bring My Mom to the Interview?’

Admittedly, this latest survey from OfficeTeam doesn’t come with many numbers — I was hard-pressed to find any, in fact — and we’ve certainly written about “helicopter parents” crowding in on their millennials’ job searches and careers, but some of what the respondents recounted were worth sharing.

One parent wanted to sit in during the interview. Another called a politician to push a hiring executive to hire his son. One mother submitted her daughter’s resume on her behalf. Another called to ask how her child did in the job interview. And my favorite: “A parent came by my desk and told me that he expected his daughter to get preference for a position since he was a manager at the company.”

More proof that a whole lot of my baby booming cohorts just don’t get it — you know, that parenting tip about letting children grow up.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based staffing firm collected these and other anecdotes from more than 1,300 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees in the United States and Canada. OfficeTeam Executive Director Robert Hosking says parents mean well, but “those who become overly involved in a child’s job search can derail their son’s or daughter’s prospects of being hired because companies may question the applicant’s level of independence and maturity.”

Take it from one who knows, it’s damn hard to let go and let them sink or swim. Each one of my sons, 30 and 26, has had to tell their mom to “cool it” once or twice. But at least that was after I asked their permission to get involved.

For those worst-offending helicopter parents, and I hope for your sake you know who you are, maybe you can make asking permission your first step toward recovery.