Unemployment: Not All Is Lostby Tim Manni
The unemployment stats for March are in and they’re bleak. There’s no sugarcoating the fact that over three million jobs were lost in the past five months, or that the unemployment rate has risen to 8.5% — the highest rate on record since 1983.
Despite the enormous downsizing, not all is lost for Americans, employed or not. As an alternative to layoffs, thousands of employers are increasing other strategies like furloughs, part time, and unpaid vacations that, despite hurting workers’ bottom lines, are keeping Americans working — just not as much as they would like. Employees who are involuntarily working part time increased to 9 million in March, double from a year ago.
While March layoffs have spread across even more sectors than in previous months, health care remains the only industry that has continued to hire. The good news here is that economists have forecasted that the first quarter would statistically be the worst. If the experts are correct when they say we will begin to see a turnaround in early 2010, hopefully that will spell gradual relief through out the year.
For months we’ve heard that laid-off workers, especially those who worked in hard-hit sectors like the financial, construction, or manufacturing industries, should consider pursuing a new career path.
Newsday.com has compiled 21 of the fastest-growing occupations from 2006 through 2016. While it’s no big surprise that several health care positions are growing, others occupations in computer technology, social work, and counseling are as well.