Today’s author–Bernz JP-–is a blogger and owner of Moneylogue.com. He is passionate about personal finance, the stock market, and is a digital marketing addict. He also loves to read books on entrepreneurship and technology, and is always on the lookout for new opportunities.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate is 4.1% currently. This is extremely low considering the rate was almost 10% back in 2010. If this is the case, why is it still so difficult to find a job?
Usually, if there is low unemployment it is easier to find a job because there is not as much competition. So why are some workers being left on the sidelines?
1. Not industry specific
The unemployment rate is not specific to your industry. According to Statista, the industry with the highest unemployment is Agriculture with 10% unemployment, meanwhile, financial activities have a rate of only 2.2%. This means depending on your industry it is either going to be easier or more difficult to find work.
If you work in the Agriculture, Construction, Leisure and Hospitality, Wholesale and Retail Trade, Information, or Professional and Business Services industries, the unemployment rate is higher than the total unemployment rate. This will make it more difficult to get a job because there are more people competing.
Meanwhile, in the Mining, Quarrying, and Oil & Gas Extraction, Transportation and Utilities, Manufacturing, Education and Health Services, Government, and Financial Activities industries the unemployment rate is lower than the total, meaning there is less competition for each job.
Depending on your industry specifications, this could be a driving force of the difficulty to find a position.
2. Not experience driven
Maybe you only have two years of job experience, maybe you have 20. The unemployment rate is not considering your experience level. If you are the person with two years experience and you are competing with the person who has 20 years for the same position, chances are you aren’t going to be the one who gets hired.
This shouldn’t discourage you; this just means you are going to work harder to show your strengths and show why you are more deserving of the role for which you are applying. The same can go the opposite way. If you have 20 years of experience and you are applying for an entry-level type position, you may not be hired because you are considered overqualified. They may skip interviewing you entirely because of this.
If you do get the interview, you are going to have to do a really good job explaining why you would want the position.
3. Electronic systems
Did you know your application or resume is most likely running through an electronic system? The first step in submitting your application is that it is run through an automated screening system, there isn’t a real person looking at it yet.
This automated screening system will throw out your application if it is missing keywords. Before submitting your resume or your application, review the job description and make sure you have keywords in the description. This will help to ensure that a real live person actually looks at your application.
4. The unemployment rate leaves people out
Did you know that many who are unemployed are not included in the unemployment rate? The unemployment rate doesn’t include those people who took a part-time job when they really want full-time work, just so they had something.
It doesn’t include the people who are working a job they are overqualified for because they needed the income. It doesn’t include those people who are discouraged and not as actively looking for jobs.
This means that the competition is higher than you may have thought based on the unemployment rate.
5. Employment Gaps
Many people lost jobs during the recession and have since been out of work. When employers are looking to hire someone and they see an employment gap, they don’t always consider the person further.
They need a good explanation for any gap in employment that is over a month long. This gap in your employment could be the reason you aren’t being hired. This gap could also be found by that electronic system which again may ensure your application never gets to a real person.
If this happens, you won’t even get an opportunity to explain to them why you have a gap in your employment.
6. Salary Gaps
When you apply for a job, you most likely have a set pay rate in mind. Part of the reason you may not be getting hired might be that your set pay rate is too high compared to what the company wants to offer.
This is not just a problem for you; it is a problem for many people. According to a Washington Post article in August 2017, there is approximately one job per job seeker. You would think that this means that we should all be able to find jobs and life is good, right?
The problem is that employers are still offering wages as if they have a multitude of people to choose from. We as the job applicant want more than the employer is willing to offer.
A few months ago, I happened to talk to an HR manager at a bank nearby. She said to me that the problem she sees the most in her company is their location. She can find workers, but they don’t want to come to their location, which is not a big metropolitan area. They want to work in a metropolitan area, or they want to telecommute, or they want more money to make up for it.
All of which makes finding someone to fill a position more difficult and it makes finding a position that fits your demands more difficult as well.
All in all, yes unemployment is down. But this does not mean that it is easy to find a job. The unemployment rate leaves out numerous factors!
Interesting points. I was recently unemployed and viewed it as an opportunity rather than a hardship. I work in IT in the DC area and it was a great place to be job searching with my experience.
However, it’s not so easy for everyone based on location, skills, field etc. Overall, things are much better than 8 years ago, but not necessarily for everyone.