There have been conflicting reports of late — heck, there have been conflicting reports for the past year or so — about the state of the recovery, and whether it’s still a jobless one or not.
We’ve definitely seen the unemployment rate drop — from a high of 10.6 percent in January 2010 to the current 9.2 percent as of March — but that number doesn’t include those individuals who have just stopped looking for work, so it doesn’t provide a totally accurate view.
Adding to the pessimistic viewpoint, last week, we saw jobless claims hit 426,000, according to the Wall Street Journal. That number “is a sharp jump from a month ago” when claims were in the mid-380,000 range.
Plus, the Conference Board saw a dip in April in its online labor demand, following a surge the month before. They see good and bad news.
“Labor demand has risen to levels we last saw just before the official start of the recession four years ago,” said June Shelp, vice president at The Conference Board. “At the same time, the number of unemployed has doubled and now stands at 13.5 million (March unemployment data), and some professions have clearly fared better than others in job opportunities.
“At this stage, there are occupations where the supply/demand rate has fallen significantly and there are two or less unemployed for every advertised vacancy. However, other occupations are still experiencing relatively high supply/demand rates above 4.0, reflecting the fact that there are over four unemployed for every advertised vacancy.”
According to Indeed’s latest Industry Employment Trends, demand can be found in 10 of the 13 industries they follow, with healthcare’s open positions nearly double that of other industries. There were 828,669 job postings for healthcare jobs in April, an increase of 21 percent from the month before, according to Indeed.
Other notable trends from Indeed include continued growth of HR jobs, including recruiters (see our recent story, HR Help Wanted). There were 64, 126 HR jobs posted in April, an increase of 11 percent. Indeed also saw 25 percent quarterly growth in transportation and declining opportunities in real estate (down 17 percent).
So, I guess we’re still bobbing along, waiting to see which way the tide will go.
Update: On May 5, the government reported: “The number of Americans filing for jobless aid rose to an eight-month high last week and productivity growth slowed in the first quarter, clouding the outlook for an economy that is struggling to gain speed.”
Better luck, next month, I guess …