You can’t change history – look forward (and it is looking better)…

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day." ~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce

2009 was, for many, a horrible year on many levels, especially if you were caught in layoffs, hour reductions, salary cuts, etc. The first half of 2009 was the worst; things did actually start to improve in the second half of the year but were (and still) are rocky at best.

We can be lucky that we are here in the Capital Region and not in other parts of the country where the economy and unemployment were devastating. Markets like Detroit, Tampa, and Chicago saw double-digit unemployment early in 2009 and it just continued to grow.

Here in the Capital Region (as well as New York State), we had increases in unemployment, but not to the extent of other markets. Over the past few months, unemployment in the region has come down (6.7% for November – the last report when we went to press) and we saw the number of layoffs subside. We never hit double-digit unemployment and tended to track 20-30 percent below the national unemployment rate.

You can’t change history

So that is history – and we can’t change it. But, we have the resolve to put the past behind us and look forward. It is a waste of "mind-time" to continually look back over your shoulder when you can’t change what happened. 

To help put your mind in forward-mode, what do the experts see for 2010? I am a numbers junkie, so I turned to some surveys and reports to frame this, and the news is good:

  • A Careerbuilder ( survey of HR professionals show that 20 percent of employers plan to hire, up from 14 percent in last year’s survey, an increase of 30 percent over 2009.
  • Again from the Careerbuilder survey, 11 percent of employers plan to add part-time jobs in 2010, up from 8 percent.
  • Execunet ( reports their survey results indicate executive job openings are expected to grow by 27 percent. 
  • The Conference Board (, a leading research firm that tracks job market activity, reported in December, that new job demand was up in most all states.
  • NYS was one of the top states for forecasted hiring, again from the Conference Board.
  • There are now 4.5 people for every job opening, compared with 6.0 just a few months ago. What does this say? Still rocky, but getting much better.

Where are the jobs?

Healthcare continues to grow and the demand is outstripping qualified candidates. This is followed by computer-related positions (technical), sales & marketing, office & administrative and management. Many of the openings in office & administrative are health-related or customer service; many management opportunities are in retail, as well as healthcare. Their occupations have shown the highest demand as reported by the Conference Board. 

Top 10 US Occupations – Avg. Hourly Wage

Healthcare practitioners and technical – $32.64 

Sales and related – $17.35 

Computer and mathematical science – $35.82 

Office and administrative support – $15.49 

Management – $48.23 

Business and financial operations – $31.12 

Architecture and engineering – $34.34 

Healthcare support – $12.66 

Transportation and material moving – $15.12 

Arts, design, entertainment, sports and media – $24.36 

* The Conference Board, Release 5397, 1/6/2010  

What to do next?

If you have had a tough time last year finding a job, put that behind you and start with a renewed vigor. If you have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the economy to improve, time to get back into the game – the career game that is!

With the New Year, comes change – if something isn’t working for you, change it up:

  • Add a fresh touch to your resume 
  • Maybe add a fresh touch to yourself and how your present your image. 
  • Put a fresh approach to your attitude – elect to be positive and align with positive people. It does rub off!

Good luck. Share your experience with us!




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