The Job Market: May 2016 — The Numbers Are Actually Worse

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter, and his views on the job market.

“I have been blogging about the job market in the US and around the world since August 2001.”

What I write is not designed to be political or critical; they are my observations and sense of where we are and where we are going.

I originally shared my thoughts on Friday. They are worth watching.

With credit to John Crudele

Let’s take a step back and look at the data again and we discover:

Of the 38,000 jobs created, only 25,000 were created by the private sector

As happens every month, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics uses a statistic model to “even things out” by adding and subtracting jobs based upon the month. For example, for January, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics subtracts jobs because they believe that companies lay off people in January following the Christmas sense; after all, companies like UPS layoff helpers following the holiday avalanche.

The US BLS has been adding more jobs in the model this year than last year; some might believe there is a political motivation to this. I would rather believe that they are building upon older data and increasing the number of jobs added based upon the accuracy previous corrections.

In May, the US BLS added 224,000 jobs they cannot prove were created by companies they can’t prove exist.

Yes, you read that right.

The US BLS added 224,000 jobs they cannot prove were created by companies they can’t prove exist.

Let’s say the agency is partially right and half the jobs they’ve claim were created were; we are -89000.

But it seems that the adjustments that were made in previous months were not accurate and the previous months were corrected by 59,000 jobs. Let’s assume that pattern holds true to May.

Half of 59,000 is 29,500 . . . the economy created fewer than 10,000 jobs in the month of May. Not exactly great news.

I’ve warned for a while that there is a strong likelihood of a recession at the end of this year or early next year. Now is a time to start putting a plan into place.

5 Steps to Put into Practice

1. Make yourself indispensable in your current job.

There is no guaranty that doing so will save your job but it may make things harder for them to get rid of you. Worker harder and smarter. Sell more. Don’t let petty disagreements turn into major wars. Solve problems; don’t create them.

2. Find your old resume and start working on an update.

Anticipate change and start quietly putting a plan in place that you can activate if you want to.

Finding your last resume and updating it with more recent information will make it easier for you if you need to put a full court press on because you’ve lost your job.

3. Update your LinkedIn profile

Go to your privacy settings under your photo on the top of your home page and turn off notifications to your network of changes to your profile. You don’t want everyone to be notified of changes and have the manager you’re connected with think you are looking for a job.

4. Start rebuilding your network

People forget about their network once they are in a new job. They lurch from job to job, from networking to no networking, from connecting regularly to long gaps in communications depending upon whether they need help or not.

Call, message and text people who have fallen off your radar while you’ve gotten immersed in your current job. A quick, “Hi! How are you,” with no purpose in mind than that goes a long way to getting people open to helping you if and when you need help.

5. Start practicing NOW!

Start practicing how to interview. It isn’t enough to “think” the answers. The words need to come out of your mouth.

Not sure what questions you might be asked? has a ton of interview questions and answers available to help you practice and hear a great answer that you can practice from.

Once you get into job search mode, you can ask me questions about how to handle situations and get confirmation that you are handling things right or get a different opinion or opinions to choose from. I don’t have a vested interest in any job you’re interviewing with; I don’t receive payment on a fee if you take one job or another like a recruiter does. I work for you.

As I pointed out in a previous article, “Job Hunting and the 10000 Rule,” most people have negligible experience with the myriad components of a job search and wonder why they don’t get results.

You still have time to get ready.

I hope you don’t need to fully implement your plan, but it is far better to be ready than to do these things when you are freaking out because you’ve lost your job.

If you don’t think it can happen to you, that is what the people at Lehman, Bear Stearns and thousands of other companies thought from 2008–2010 when the global economy imploded. “I’m doing a good job. My boss tells me so all the time.”

You still have time. Don’t waste it.

© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC 2016

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is the head coach of and professional recruiter with more than 40 years of experience.

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