Good News on the State of the Jobless
At last, a sign that US unemployment might finally have peaked and be on its way back down: There was a large dip last week in the number of people losing jobs and claiming unemployment benefits for the first time. In fact, 43,000 fewer people filed for new benefits last week than the week before, according to recently released Department of Labor numbers. Economic analysts expected that number to drop only by about 15,000.
There were still 440,000 people filing new claims, but at least the numbers are headed in the right direction. Employers are not yet creating more jobs than they're shedding, but at least the latest numbers are surprising analysts in a positive way. Plus, the four-week average for layoffs declined by 1,000 to 468,500. This is the first time we've seen a drop in that number for the past four weeks.
States Where Jobless Numbers Decreased
Of course, some states have it better than others. Because of fewer layoffs in the trade, service, automobile and manufacturing industries, New Jersey, Connecticut, Kansas and Vermont all experienced a decrease in jobless claims by 1,200 or more over the previous week. That would indicate that if you live in one of those states, you don't need to worry as much about layoffs as you did before.
States Where Jobless Numbers Increased
But there are states where workers are still sitting on the edge of their Aeron seats. These are the places where the newly jobless numbers actually increased. They're led by Pennsylvania, where, due to increased layoffs in the construction, trade, and service industries, 10,495 more workers filed for jobless benefits than had the week before. Other states experiencing increases include Illinois, North Carolina, Georgia, Wisconsin and California.
What These Numbers Mean to You
If you're in one of the states where things are still very much on the downswing, you might want to expand your job search to include states where the grass is greener. With the Internet, it's easy to do a job search in any state of the union. Many companies are actually interviewing via Skype and videos posted on YouTube, You don't have to visit the actual job site until you're in the final stages of negotiation.
Relocation, especially for those who must leave friends and family behind, might seem like an insurmountable challenge, but remember, religious organizations and special interest groups stand at the ready to welcome newcomers. At this point, everyone realizes that flexibility and resourcefulness are key to finding a job. And a fresh start certainly beats yet another unemployment check in the mailbox.