This year, 81% of the callers were unemployed, an increase from 76% a year earlier and a more modest 55% in 2007. And, confidence was down. Last month, only 12.4% of the callers felt they'd be able to find a job in up to three months, off from 27% in 2008. Those who thought it would take between four and seven months fell from 31% in 2008 to 12.2% in 2009.
"The economy may officially be in recovery, but there are scant signs of a revival in the job market. Employers are still shedding workers, albeit at a much lower pace, and hiring has yet to accelerate. Hiring is expected to pick up in the new year, but for those who have been jobless for an extended period, it is easy to become discouraged," said John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
The upside is that the job market is usually "darkest before dawn," Challenger noted. He believes that the economy that has been rebuilding over the last half of last year should begin to find its way to the job market in 2010, meaning that hiring should increase by the middle of the year. "It may not be heavy enough to significantly impact the unemployment rate, but it will at least move us in a positive direction," said Challenger.
Some companies are hiring now, according to challenger. Every month, four million employees are hired ... but there are 15 million looking for those positions. The market is still competitive. "Nearly half of the callers said they would take a position for less pay. This may expand the number of potential opportunities, but job seekers should also consider expanding their searches to include a wider variety of industries or look in different parts of the country. Some even expand their searches by looking overseas," said Challenger.