Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Specific Category Layoffs Will Continue

According to the most recent Jobs Outlook Survey (JOS) published this past April by the Society For Human Resources (SHRM) only 7% of those surveyed expected layoffs for the second quarter for 2012. On balance that’s good news when compared to JOS data from prior periods which was far more discouraging.  

But year-to-year comparison isn’t what I want to dig into.  I am more interested in comparing the employer categories with reference to those “most likely to conduct layoffs during the second quarter”.

- government sector = 14 %

- nonprofits = 6 %
- for-profit publicly owned companies = 6 %
- privately owned for-profit companies = 5 %

What this shows is that government is the last to end layoffs and that private business is the first.  In other words, the recessionary ripple is slower and still moving through the government sector, the slow mover.  Good jobs with solid benefit packages will continue to be cut by government long after the same has taken place in private business, the fast mover.

This will continue to dump ex-government workers into the job market adding to the overall supply.  For the other employer categories this is good news, as the general oversupply of workers helps to keep labor costs (wages and benefits) down. Of course, not such good news for those receiving pink slips.

But what about those government workers now unemployed?  It’s not fair to generalize as “the government sector” is massive, yet I will just the same. I wonder how difficult it is for these types of workers to see themselves as Free Agents, especially those with a fair amount of tenure at their old jobs?

How difficult is it for them to re-program their mindset to one of independence and pro-activity? How long will it take those that need to continue working to get on with their job search? How will they handle the process of pursuing non-government positions?

Referring to my previous post, I can imagine many of these people needing to “get real” in a hurry.  This means not fighting the need to adjust to the Free Agent employment world that is gaining momentum daily.   

Travel well.

John Jeffrey Lundell

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