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Will The Sequester Impact Your Job Search?

You’ve probably heard the term by now, maybe you know what it means, maybe you don’t, maybe you have no idea it involves politics–no matter, the sequester is here, and both the employed and unemployed will be affected. So what is the sequester and how will it impact your job search?

To start, the sequester is a group of cuts to government spending that took effect Friday, March 1st. Don’t feel alone if you didn’t know that. A recent Washington Post article says one in four Americans don’t know what the sequester is. Heck, this writer even needed her share of research to get past the crust of the issue. Forget the core, I’m drudging through the mantle. Politics, eh? Always so tricky. If you’re interested in getting the lowdown on all of the sequester’s details, here’s the full post on the sequester from the White House’s blog. We’re going to focus though on the sequester’s influence on your job search.

How will these cuts impact your job search? To start, there will be fewer federal jobs. In fact, many government sectors, federal, state, and local, will see a decrease in available jobs. Some estimates predict 700,000 jobs total could be cut. It stands to reason, thusly, that government jobs will be hit hardest; but the National Economic Council argues differently. A spokesperson for the NEC says that private sector jobs will actually be hit the hardest. The impact to government spending will spread to other, related industries, halting job growth in these areas.

Job seekers receiving unemployment benefits will face double trouble with the sequester. Persons receiving long-term federal unemployment benefits will see their unemployment benefits cut by approximately 11%. Indiana legislators were even planning to cut funding for all long-term unemployment benefactors before making a last minute reversal. Those receiving unemployment benefits, who are by definition actively seeking a job, may struggle to keep afloat while facing a tougher job market.

Whether you are plugged into the political world or not, the recent sequester means politics could play a key role in your job search. The sequester means less federal jobs, and on the periphery, less job growth in the industries that support federal jobs–for instance, defense contracting, municipal jobs, even hospital and healthcare workers–and a drop in benefits for the unemployed job seekers. So if you’re in the middle of a job search, do yourself a favor and start following politics; the related issues may be impacting your search whether you realize it or not.

Are you worried about the sequester as it relates to your job search? Tell us about it in the comments.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Robert Couse-Baker

Jen Schiller

Jen works as a Marketing Project Manager for a restaurant, a kitchen assistant for cooking classes, helps with database management, does some freelance writing, and more. She received her B.A. from the University of Maryland in Government & Politics in 2011. Currently, she resides in the Washington, D.C. area and is an avid sports fan.