A Drop in US Unemployment Rate and What It Means for Job Seekers

by Emily on December 6, 2011

For the past two years the unemployment rate has been consistently holding at 9%. In November, the rate fell to 8.6% and economic analysts are reporting that one of the driving forces for this drop in the unemployment rate is small business. Small businesses are gaining their confidence back in consumerism and finally hiring again. The economy still has a long way to go, but this is a positive step in the right direction. The current unemployment rate of 8.6% is the lowest it has been since March of 2009, which was just two months after Barack Obama stepped into the oval office.

According to the Department of Labor, the country added 120,000 new jobs last month.  The private sector of employment added 140,000 new jobs, and government positions were cut by 20,000 jobs. For the past five months in a row, the economy has stimulated a creation of 100,000 or more jobs. This is the first time this has happened since April of 2006, before the recession began.

September and October were strong months for the job market and more jobs were created nationally than the original market estimate. For the past four months in a row, the government has revised the figures for the previous month job growth upwards. September saw a gain of 210,000 jobs while October saw a gain of 100,000 jobs.  The unemployment rate was at its highest in October 2009 at 10.1 percent and has hovered around 9% since then until last month. Although these figures show that the rate fell because people found jobs, it is also due to about 300,000 individuals who gave up their search for employment and are no longer counted as unemployed. Within the workforce people enter and leave, but 300,000 leaving the workforce is a high number.

If you are currently unemployed or underemployed, this is certainly positive news for you. While applying for jobs is frustrating and time consuming, it will pay off. You may feel as if you apply to hundreds of jobs within a given month and are rarely getting contacted for interviews and while this is discouraging you must keep at it. As of late, I have found that employers are calling people for interviews for positions up to 2 months later of your application date. You may have to find other work in the meantime while waiting for an interview, but if you are patient the job market will respond. The more resumes you put out there, and the more jobs you apply for the better your odds of finding a position you will have.  You may feel that you are over or under qualified for a position, but you should apply anyway if it interests you, because you never know exactly what the employer is looking for and the actual job may be very different from the small description you read. You need to make sure your resume is up to date and presents you in the best possible light for the position you are applying for.

Hopefully this drop in the unemployment rate is just one step toward the economy making a recovery. It is good news for job seekers and it shows that businesses both large and small are hiring instead of downsizing. Let this market change be an encouragement to you if you are seeking employment. Keep putting yourself out there, market your skills and be persistent and it will pay off. Currently, applying for positions and attaining them just seems to be a slower process than it was a few years ago, but with patience, diligence and applying to as many jobs in your field as you find available, you will be able to land that job you have been searching for.

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