Career Report
January, 2011 — Issue 131


Job Offers Rise as Economy Gets Better

As the economy gradually recovers, some big U.S. companies are cranking up their recruiting and advertising thousands of job openings, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal. Many of the new jobs are in retailing, accounting, consulting, health care, telecommunications and defense-related industries, according to data collected for the newspaper by Indeed Inc., which runs one of the largest employment websites.

Indeed said the number of U.S. job postings on the Internet rose to 4.7 million on Dec. 1, up from 2.7 million a year earlier. The company daily collects listings from corporate and job-posting websites, removing duplicates.

The figures may even undercount available jobs because some companies don’t post all listings online, according to Indeed. Manufacturing, construction and farming jobs tend to be under-represented in online postings, while skilled computer and mathematical jobs are overrepresented, said June Shelp, an economist and vice president for the Conference Board.

To be sure, the posting data offer only a partial and unofficial look at the labor market, the article pointed out. Job losses in the recent recession have been much worse relative to output declines than in previous slumps and official payroll data, so far, haven’t shown signs of a big rebound in hiring. While some companies are expanding, others are merely replacing workers who are retiring or otherwise moving on. And many available jobs require experience and technical expertise that few jobs seekers can muster. Jobs that don’t are seeing a flood of applicants for each opening.

Nevertheless, companies are racking up profits, have built strong cash positions, and are ready to hire again, according to the article. As consumer confidence revives, the economy should continue a gradual recovery that encourages more companies to hire, said Robert A. Dye, a senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group Inc., in Pittsburgh.

Government data have been showing a rising trend in openings, and economists expect hiring will ramp up this year, with some predicting double last year’s total of jobs or more. A tax-cut package enacted in December should boost consumer and business spending, the Associated Press reported.

Among firms expanding their payrolls are accounting and consulting giants, who have more companies seeking their services as the economy revives, the article pointed out. At PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, for example, 2500 people have been hired since June 30, excluding college students, nearly four times more than it hired in the year-earlier period, the company told The Wall Street Journal. The most-needed professionals will have six-to-eight years’ experience, the company said.

In telecommunications, AT&T has been scouring for highly technical workers and retail sales people. “We’re looking for very skilled folks” in such areas as network engineering and cloud computing, which allows smart phones and computers to tap applications via the Internet, said a company spokesperson. “There are not many of them out there.”

WellPoint Inc., an Indianapolis-based health insurer, mostly is seeking information-technology specialists, registered nurses to advise policy holders over the phone, actuaries, insurance-policy underwriters, salespeople and call-center employees, according to the company.

Health-care companies have major needs in information technology as they upgrade electronic-record systems. Tracie Grant, director of recruitment at Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a Denver-based operator of hospitals and long-term care facilities, believes competition for application analysts and software developers specializing in medical records will be acute in 2011. CHI may need to raise salaries by as much as 10 percent for such people, who typically earn $70,000 to $90,000 a year, she told newspaper.

Big defense contractors are also scrambling for people with information technology skills. At Lockheed Martin Corp., “more than 80 percent of our skill needs are for technical talent in IT and engineering,” said a company spokesperson.

News from BLK

We at Berman Larson Kane are pleased to continue our FREE Job-Seeker Webinar series into 2011. For a schedule of classes click here. “With attendance of over 37,000 since we began this program in 2009, we are very touched by the comments and thanks of our webinar participants” said Bob Larson, CPC President of Berman Larson Kane. To read a sample of comments follow the links on our webinar page to “what others have said about this webinar”.

This issue of our newsletter, Issue 131, represents a milestone celebrating our 11 consecutive year of sending out our monthly newsletter and advice article. Historical issues are available on our website and offer a wide range of job-seeker advice articles.

As 2011 launches and our Berman Larson Kane optimism gains momentum, we are proud to announce hiring of new recruiters to service the anticipated needs of our clients. If you know of someone who would like to learn more about our program, feel free to forward our information along or follow this link.