Economy is looking up…report from the ground.

The big, big ship is starting to turn.  After months of hopeful fits and starts, from this ground-eye perspective, the job market is starting to open up…just a bit.  Anecdotal info:

Indicator 1:

One woman I know well, has been looking for work for 2 years.  She was transitioning from eduction to business…a very tough transition, and a very tough time to do it.  Sally (not her real name) has done everything right.  Gone to workshops on interview and job search techniques, networked with everyone and their brother, gone to umpteen bazillion (yes, that is a real number) networking events, handing out her card, perfected her elevator pitch to a fevered pitch…and basically done just about everything right.  Over 2 years, a couple of hits, but nothing that turned into a position.  At one of the many networking events, following a conversation I had enjoyed with a temp agency recruiter (who made it pretty clear that she had business entry level jobs and not enough people to fill them), Sally contacted them and a few other temp and temp-to-perm placement agencies.

Sally launched herself into connecting with these placement agencies with a new approach.  She’d look for a temp job with hopes that there might be a permanent placement in the future.  It worked.  She signed up through Robert Half and within a couple of weeks (and incredible responsiveness on her part) has landed a job.  After 2 years.

Indicator 2:

My pet services business is a very “nose-to-the-ground” (forgive me!) type of service business.  Someone gets a new job after looking for a couple of years and they need someone to help them exercise, water and walk their pet!  Purse strings loosen up a bit and those who can, take small to mid-scope vacations.  I’m seeing a flurry of activity going into February and in almost all cases, calls are from clients who just found work.

This is LA — first to go down and often, first to raise up again.  Where are you located and what are you seeing?  Any indicators specific to your industry?

3 thoughts on “Economy is looking up…report from the ground.

  1. Well, as much as I wouldn’t rely on hearsay to make a decision, my caveat: Reader Beware (caveat visor?)
    My market: Commercial Print buyers within 50 miles radius from LAX.
    Here’s some industrial sector news from my ground hugging perspective as well…:

    Fashion – brands have slowed or gone belly up, however, there are new start up brands with young designers also forming (I quoted on two tiny labels this week, 1000 12 page half size catalogs)

    Commercial Real Estate: Bad. They are BUYING but not promoting, so their marketing budgets are zero, they are firing and doubling up work on existing employees, even “promoting” inexperienced agents and getting rid of others.

    Biotech – continued strength, unclear about hiring, always looking for graduate bio and/or engineering students…
    Trade Show Producers: People are not going to trade shows as much, and that may be a structural thing (internet shopping) as well as an economic thing. They themselves need to print, happy to do it, but if they have fewer attendees they can’t charge as much, etc.

    Remodeling product suppliers: Surprisingly strong, this week called on a $300M provider of natural stone. It’s being used to create table tops, countertops, flooring (various types of natural stone tiles). They are hiring, even warehouse personnel, since with the housing market so horrible, people are staying put and upgrading.

    Gaming – hiring, period. Gotta have right skills.

    That’s all the news fit to print, good luck to all job candidates.

  2. What I see in a group of 40+ job seekers in the midwest is that if they know what they want and they use networking to find jobs in the “hidden” job market they are starting to be successful. As always, those that bemoan their fate, listen to those that tell them their age is against them, put on weight sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring are still among the unemployed.

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