The economy may not be making headlines, but that doesn’t mean it’s not at the forefront of most job seekers’ minds as they send out resumes, schedule job interviews and hope for good news. Though it seems that there is a lot more opportunity out there than there was just two or three years ago, not all may be as it seems. From the average job seeker’s perspective to the experts, you can get an idea of the reality of today’s job search and market.
A Gallup poll released on September 18 shows that the average American’s view of job availability increased this month, with 27% saying now is a good time to search for a job. This is the highest this percentage has been since January 2008. Of the respondents, it was determined that young adults and Democrats are most optimistic about the current job market.
However, while upper and middle-class Americans have a better outlook about today’s job search, low-income earners do not. Over the summer, this group had a more favorable outlook with 30% in June and 26% in July saying it was a good time to look for jobs. Now, that percentage has dropped to 19%. Gallup states that this was a trend also seen in a recent Associated Press report, which found that the unemployment gap between U.S. income groups was at its highest in the past 10 years.
On a similar note, David Wessel, an economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, told NPR this past weekend that though the economy is better, it’s still not optimal for job seekers out there. He pointed out that the unemployment rate right now is 7.3%, which is better than we’ve seen in a while. However, he stated that “it’s at a level that would have been considered a recession at any earlier time. And that number overstates the health of the job market because so many people aren’t looking for work, so they’re not counted as being unemployed.”
He also provided some perspective on job creation. Yes, there are jobs being created now. On the other hand, there are two million less jobs now than there were before the economic crisis, and Wessel says that economists are predicting that we won’t see pre-recession employment levels until 2017.
While Wessel paints a grim picture, it is at least apparent that the job market is somewhat better than it was two or three years ago. Hopefully, Main Street can maintain the positive outlook in hopes that today’s job search will yield more results as the economy continues to recover.
How do you feel about the job market today — positive or negative? Tell us why in our comments!