The CHASM between Employed and Unemployed
Well another year is coming to a close with the unemployment rate remaining high. Good hard-working educated folks continue to aggressively seek work, but are unable to land a new position. The news media remains flooded with heart-breaking stories of lost homes, families, egos, confidence, health and benefits. We at Berman Larson Kane have witness many a gut wrenching hardship story and remain deeply moved from innocent suffering caused by our sluggist economy.
As a disconnect; we have recently experienced a strong difference between hardship and prosperity. Q4 2011 was a good quarter here at BLK for job-orders, placements with the emerging of new clients adding to staff. How could our little microcosm begin to see growth while so many suffer? Firms are adding to headcount while the unemployment rate remains above 8.5% and job creation numbers are dismal? Could the government reports be incorrect? And even though our small company is experiencing growth , we still do not have one client that is in full steam ahead aggressive hiring mode. It seems the 99% majority are living in two worlds. Those who remained employed for the past three years and those “not” employed are living two very different experiences.
For those of us employed. We have not seen major salary increases but have not lost buying power. With such low inflation, along with our worries about the economy, we have increased our saving rates and decreased our discretionary purchasing habits. This seemingly logical good behavior has caused each of us to feel richer while assisting the anemic consumer economic growth. FEAR of job lost seems to override logic. This is not a complaint but a observation of those who have kept their employment status for the past 3 years. We are the lucky ones, the ones with uninterrupted pay checks. Struggling but not in desperate straights.
As for those that are unemployed. We all know the hardships, the lost and the feelings of desperation. Everyday, I must tell someone that I do not have even a interview within their skill set. Ouch OUCH!….and those employed fear that one day in the near future they will be joining the ranks of living without a paycheck. Or working as greeter “Welcome to _____ may I have your zip-code”
Well if our BLK barometer is correct hiring will return to a faster pace beginning Q1 2012. This expansion will restore confidence to those with jobs and hopefully accelerate spending. Jobs for the unemployed, spending for those with jobs will hopefully lead our economy into an expansion period and put this “Great Recession” behind us. Happy New Year! New job creation will make for a GREAT year for all.