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And the unemployment rate is . . . . . .

How IS the job market? The news gives us mixed information. Anecdotally, companies are having trouble finding the people they need. That said, people that are in transition are not often finding what they seek. And people we as a search firm call are getting multiple calls from search firms at this time. (We are calling about management positions. That is, of course, the focus of the numbers and message here.)

The unemployment rate, put out monthly by the BLS and varying state agencies, is one we watch closely. The question is:

  • does it matter?
  • is it accurate?

The number is relative . . . . . to its past

For the federal rate, we have to look at three numbers/timeframes.  October 2009 - the rate was at 10%. May 2007 - it was as low as 4.4%.  The most recent number - September 2014; we stand at 5.9%. What do we know from this? 5.9% is much better than 10% and worse than 4.4%. Regardless, the trend we are seeing is better (the number is going down).

More notable numbers

  • 4.1% - Minnesota's rate. (September 2014)
  • 3.8% - Minneapolis/St. Paul rate. (August 2014)
  • 2.8% - open to relocation? North Dakota's rate is consistently lower than almost anywhere else. (August 2014)
  • 2.9% - federal rate for people 25 and older with a 4-year degree or higher.
  • 8.4% - federal rate for people 25 and older who have not completed high school.

Personal rate - 100% or 0%

If you are unemployed, the number really doesn't matter. That said, there was an interesting article in the October 17, 2014 Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal titled, Is metro's jobless rate too low? The article's premise is that (1) the Twin Cities has the lowest unemployment rate of any of the largest 49 metro areas in the U.S. (population of at least 1 million) and (2) that finding talent to fuel the growth of area businesses will be a challenge.

No one leaves the Twin Cities!

One last item from the above referenced article . . . . . . .

  • "Statistically, if you are 35 years old and married and have one child or more, you don't leave. We have a 97.8% retention rate. If you have a second kid, it goes to 99.2%."

The conclusion . . . . .

If you are in transition, now is the time to 'hit' the market. If you need talent, let us know how we can help.