Where the Working Things Are

Conflicting metrics creates a convoluted picture, but prospects for jobseekers are increasingly nitid.  


Rosters in the private sector grew by 179,000 jobs in April, following a 207,000 increase in March that trumped expectations, reports CNN. But even as some benchmarking metrics shine, others conflict, leaving consumers to interpret the market’s true prospects on their own. So what’s the take?

Although the recovery may ebb and flow, consumers are learning that the tide is heading in the right direction. And energy in the job market is once more palpable to the average person.

The return of unemployment figures to 9% may represent a raw nerve to economists, but was at least partially influenced by the rerun of job seekers to market: in and of itself a good thing.

One individual, unemployed for nearly two years despite career shifts and job retraining, has received two job offers in his original field this year.  He told Businessweek, "I definitely saw a shift in the job market."

Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an outplacement consulting firm, advised jobs cut fell 12% from March and 5% year over year. According to the New York Times, the number of people unemployed because they lost jobs fell to 8.1 million in April, the lowest figure in two years. The figures might indicate that workers, both unemployed and employed, are experiencing new job prospects at a level not seen in some time and are joining in the hunt once more.

Even the student demographic, which was hit hard by unemployment, is in a new ballgame this year. “The class of 2011 is enjoying the best job market for new grads since the 2008 financial crisis,” reports Businessweek.

The challenge for credit unions in all of this will be continuing to maintain the liquidity solutions, loan workouts, and the debt consolidation strategies that became a lifeline for the unemployed during the recession. In return, cooperatives can expect and prepare for the dynamic loan demand a verily employed workforce will require in the days ahead.