How to Understand the Unemployment Rate

How to Understand the Unemployment Rate

What exactly is the unemployment rate? Your grandma is retired, does she count towards the unemployment rate? And even if you understand the unemployment rate, what impact does it have on your career? Fortunately for you, you’ve come to the right place. And no, your grandma doesn’t count.

 

The Unemployment Rate Defined

The unemployment rate is calculated by diving the amount of people who don’t have a job by the amount of people who do have a job. Individuals who aren’t looking for work don’t factor into this figure, such as retirees, stay-at-home dads, and minors not old enough to work.Another factor that’s not counted into this unemployment rate is what’s called “underemployment.” A great example of this is a recent college graduate with a finance degree working as a barista at your local coffee shop. Yes, this person has a job and is employed, but they don’t have a “career job” and are still actively job searching. Basically, there is more competition than the unemployment rate suggests.

What Does This Mean for You?

In recent years, the unemployment rate has dropped nationwide. While it’s promising that more and more jobs are opening up, this also means it’s time to take charge of your career and work hard to refine your best job-related skills.

Nancy Collamer, a career coach, suggests looking at the way you network. You shouldn’t only network when you’re unemployed—you should network all the time. You never know when a great opportunity will pop up, or when you badly need some job advice.

Another key factor is making sure you’re actively giving to your network—endorsing their skills on LinkedIn, providing job recommendations, etc. It may be common sense, but you become more valuable if you offer value. Once you’ve established yourself as a reliable contact, you’ll start to receive (job openings, interviews, etc.).Assessing your mindset and attitude is also important. Career coach Erika Anderson recommends looking at your internal dialogue about yourself and your career. Are you stuck in your old ways, or willing to make a change? Also, it’s important to consistently remind yourself of your selling points. Why are you such an asset? You need to constantly highlight these skills in your resume, cover letter, and interview.Also, don’t overlook the importance of volunteer work. A recent study showed that people who volunteer are 27 percent more likely to get a job. Volunteering is a great way to build skills and experiences you may not be getting in the workplace. Plus, it’s a wonderful opportunity to network and give back.

How Unemployment Impacts Your Job Search

It’s crucial to regularly check for job openings. You should be checking several times a week, if not daily. Part of understanding the unemployment rate is knowing that you’re not the only person looking for a new job. Jobs fill quickly, and you’ll miss opportunities by not looking often enough.Another aspect to job searching is reaching out to hiring managers at companies before you know an open position exists. Less candidate take this route, which means you’ll have a leg up on the competition. If you’ve done a good job networking, have one of your contacts introduce you to a hiring manager. If not, don’t be scared to get on the phone or write an email and tell them how you can help their organization. A smart manager is always looking for great people, whether or not they are hiring at the time.

 

Ready to build a strong resume? Create My Resume

More Articles about How to Understand the Unemployment Rate

In good times and bad, everyone needs an accountant

With more businesses starting out and needing financial help, some accountants are finding their careers are just as buoyant when the economy is down.

More College Students In Need of Counseling

The number of college students in dire need of counseling is rising, according to the New York Times.

Hiring of Accounting and Finance Professionals to Remain Steady

A new survey of chief financial officers has found that most companies plan to maintain their staff of accounting professionals through the third-quarter of 2012.

More Job Seekers Finding Full-Time Work

The latest unemployment figures show that more professionals are moving from part-time jobs to full-time careers.

Health Care Administrators Increasingly In Demand

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that demands for health information and medical records specialists will grow faster than average in the coming years.

Technology Providing New Jobs to the Unemployed

Experts say there are a few career paths worth looking into for those who are willing to embrace the 21st century.

Allegiance Staffing to Create More Clerical Jobs in Arizona

Professionals with clerical experience on their resumes are in demand in Phoenix, Arizona, after Allegiance Staffing announced it was opening an office in the state.

New Government Contract Could Create Hundreds of New Tech Jobs in Ohio

A government contract to support Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio could help create several hundred new jobs for those with tech experience.

Improving economy helping more college graduates find work

The latest jobless figures are proof that college graduates are more likely to find a job than those without a degree.

Careers in primary healthcare in high demand

As fewer medical school students opt to enter the lower-paying fields, the shortage of primary care physicians in the U.S. may reach 44,000 by 2025.

Counseling Careers Can Be Recession Proof

A counseling career can be considered recession-proof in some ways, since demand for these professionals tends to increase during times of economic difficulty.

Intuit Employment Index Finds Signs of Life in Small Business Sector

The new Small Business Employment Index by Intuit Incorporated is showing promise for professionals with business experience on their resumes.

Florida Grads Seeing Healthy Job Market

Recent college graduates in Florida are starting to see a healthy job market, with some from the Class of 2011 considering multiple job offers.

Officials See Need for Specialized, LTC Nurses as Population Ages

Job seekers thinking about nursing career may want to consider specializing in long-term care or geriatrics as demand for these professionals is expected to rise.

Forensic Accounting Careers Looking Solid

With a renewed focus on prosecuting financial crimes, now might be a good time to consider a career in forensic accounting.

Stanford Says Graduate Job Success Determined by Market Demand

According to a survey of Stanford students, market demand and the recruitment process were some of the main measurements of job-search success.

Substitute Teaching Can Further Your Career Path

If you are interested in pursuing a teaching career, working as a substitute could be one way to get a feel for the business and gain some experience.

Teachers Lead By Example

In addition to instructing students in academic subjects such as science and math, teachers are role models whose examples are often followed by their pupils.Travel Jobs to Come with Southwest Expansion

Greenville, South Carolina city officials are pleased with Southwest’s decision to expand service as it will secure travel jobs for local residents.

Advertisement

Career Tips
Read more

Salary Negotiations

Career Tips
Read More

America's #1 Free Career Test! Know Yourself, Know Your Right Career.

Resume Tips
Read more

5 Tips to Career Change Success

customerservice@livecareer.com
800-652-8430 Mon- Fri 8am - 8pm CST
Sat 8am - 5pm CST, Sun 10am - 6pm CST