Friday, May 6, 2011

Jobs picture: Still tough out there

Career-help display,
Lucius Beebe Memorial Library,
Wakefield, Mass. (via library's Flickr account)
Today's uptick in the April jobs number notwithstanding, it's interesting to note that this Forbes career how-to on cover letters, posted in late March, is still gaining clicks.

When I first stumbled on it Wednesday, the clicks were just above 12,700; today it's up another 500 to more than 13,200 clicks. (As an aside, I must say that I find it oh-so-satisfying that the post's author, who writes regularly about careers, admits to being flummoxed when asked to help a friend write a cover letter, a task I continue to find arduous.)

What does that +500 mean? That people still are out of work and still looking for jobs, so they still need advice on cover letters. Just take a look at a couple of points in today's Bureau of Labor Statistics release on April's employment picture:

  • "The number of unemployed persons, at 13.7 million, changed little in April."
  • "The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed over the month..."
  • "In April, 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, about the same as a year earlier."
For those of us in journalism's corner of the world, the Kansas City Star announced additional layoffs earlier in the week. And on Monday a site for media professionals suggested there was a stall during April in the pace of listings on various help-wanted job boards.

Bottom line: It's still tough out there.

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