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Unemployment Hits Veterans Harder than Most

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The most recent unemployment rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is 8.2%. Yet, that number is higher for veterans.

In the article, “Veteran-Friendly Job Resources to Ease Vets Back into Job Market,” writer and human resources consultant Deborah S. Hildebrand notes that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Unfortunately, the unemployment rate in 2010 for veterans who have served since September 2001 was at 11.7%, while the August 1, 2011 article, “More Young Veterans Jobless,” put the current unemployment rate for veterans at around 13%. Both numbers exceed the current national average of 9.2%

The experts say that the most likely reason is that many companies don’t make the connection between military experience and recruiting candidates for their open positions.

Granted, much of the problem has to do with how veterans view themselves. When they develop their resume, they often use military acronyms and a government formatted resume that is foreign to private human resources professionals and hiring managers. Veterans need to learn how to translate their years of experience and skills into the right words.

Beyond that, employers need to rethink how they look at the men and women who served this country. Defense contractors, for instance, often hire veterans with security clearances who can work on top-secret projects.

For other employers who are not as sure about recruiting veterans, there are tax benefits as well as government funding for training and worker relocation, such as VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011.

This initiative made changes to the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) by adding two new categories. It allows for-profit employers to claim a credit of up to $9,600 for qualified veterans who begin work before January 1, 2013 or up to $6,240 for qualified tax-exempt organizations. For more information, visit the IRS website.

Additionally, the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) offers resources to assist employers in hiring veterans including a Veteran’s Hiring Tool Kit and no-cost consultation and technical assistance.

[Infographic] The Meteoric Rise of Branchout

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Small Business Recruiting Important to Economy

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What this country needs is more small businesses. So the U.S. Department of Labor recently announced it was providing $35 million for states to help develop, enhance, and promote Self-Employment Assistance programs to encourage unemployed Americans to realize their dreams of business ownership.

The program allows “participants who are currently receiving or eligible for federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits” to receive “financial assistance equal to their Unemployment Insurance benefits while they receive important entrepreneurial training and resources to help launch their own businesses.”

Small Business Vital to Recruiting

Small businesses not only create opportunity for their owners, but they create opportunities for other small businesses, as well as job seekers in the community. As the Small Business Administration suggests:

“… The overall importance of the small busi­ness community has been well documented and the importance of new venture creation is widely recognized.”

And nowhere is this more important than in the creation of new jobs. In fact, as of 2010, the SBA reported that small businesses (fewer than 500 employees per the SBA) accounted for 75 percent of net new jobs in the U.S.

Additionally, a study conducted by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) suggested that entrepreneurship is a major factor in any country’s well-being in both economic and job growth.

Technology Makes Small Businesses Competitive

However, the difficulty for many small businesses and entrepreneurs is in competing with larger organizations. That’s where technology can provide an advantage.

Technology makes small businesses competitive. As Stephanie Faris suggests in her article, “Technology Helps Small Businesses Restore Competitiveness to U.S. Economy”:

“Thanks to technology, those smaller companies can now compete with the largest corporations in the country. Cloud services are leveling the playing field, allowing small and mid-sized businesses to tackle larger projects …”

And one such large project is managing the recruiting function. That’s where PCRecruiter can help.

We offer tools that enable human resource and other business professionals to manage the entire recruiting process, from requisition approval and submission to resume database management and diversity tracking. Whatever you need to streamline staffing, we have the recruiting software tools that are right for your current needs.

A Look at Employment and What’s Ahead

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Is the economy headed for another meltdown or are we just experiencing a hiccup in the national recovery?

That’s what experts are asking after after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its latest employment numbers for May at the end of last week, which were much lower than the anticipated addition of 150,000 jobs.

Overall, the nation added only 69,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate rose slightly to 8.2 percent. There were a total of 12.7 million unemployed people, with the number of long-term unemployed people rising from 5.1 million to 5.4 million.

Lawrence Creatura, a stock portfolio manager with Federated Investors, told the Associated Press:

“The jobs report was just bad … What we’re seeing is that the job market, post-financial crisis, has not been able to reignite itself. It hasn’t been able to set off that chain reaction where an improving economy creates more jobs, and more jobs improve the economy, creating more jobs. That hasn’t started yet.”

Most major industries didn’t see a lot of movement in terms of employment, with employers in the healthcare, transportation and warehousing, and wholesale trade industries being the only ones to add a significant number of jobs. On the downside, the construction industry took a turn for the worse.

Unimpressive Numbers

Including the May employment numbers, the U.S. has added an average of 96,000 jobs during each of the last three months, which is down from the 245,000 average gain between December and February.

In addition, experts point out that the main reason the increase in unemployment was so small is because a lot of people stopped looking for work, so they’re no longer counted among the unemployment rolls.

And even worse – the BLS revised its employment numbers for March and April, dropping them from 154,000 to 143,000 and from 115,000 to 77,000, respectively.

Sheila Dewan at The New York Times notes:

“Economists can explain away a month or two of dismal numbers, but a three-month run is difficult to ignore. The economy now seems to be following the spring slowdown pattern of the last two years — a bright spot of accelerating growth followed by a slump. The news on Friday even raised mentions of a possibility that dogged last year’s forecasts but did not come to pass: another recession.”

Of course, the weak employment figures are having an effect on the entire global market as well, especially since they came shortly after other data that points to weakening economies in Europe and Asia. Financial markets from Wall Street to Germany took a dive today.

A Few Positives

The good thing is that a few key industries did continue adding jobs during May:

  • Transportation and warehousing – The industry added 36,000 jobs over the month, with ground passenger transportation accounting for most of that gain.
  • Healthcare – With an addition of 33,000 workers, the healthcare industry continued its ever-growing trend, with much of the employment gain coming from the ambulatory healthcare services sector.
  • Manufacturing – One of the most important industries to our economy, manufacturing added 12,000 jobs last month, with employers in fabricated metal products and primary metals hiring the most workers.

Mostly Negatives

Aside from the overall paltry employment figures, the BLS report found that most industries saw little to no change in employment, while one of our most significant industries actually lost workers.

The construction industry, which along with manufacturing has long been a primary indicator of the overall health of the economy, lost 28,000 jobs during May. Payrolls were cut in specialty trade contractors and heavy and civil engineering construction.

Most of the other industries that we pay close attention to on a monthly basis – professional and business services; mining and logging; retail trade; information; financial activities; leisure and hospitality; and government – all saw little or no change in employment last month.

Looking Ahead

In reality, the economy sways back and forth so much that it’s hard to predict what effect the May employment numbers will have in the next several weeks and months.

As Tim Duy wrote over at Forbes:

“Two thoughts come to mind. First, I have said it before and I will say it again: If you become either too optimistic or too pessimistic about the path of the US recovery, you will almost certainly be slapped down in a matter of months.


“Second, this summer is looking like a carbon copy of 2011. The US data is turning softer just while the European saga is heating up. This time, we have some additional icing on the cake, with emerging markets faltering as well. And that black box that is China could be in free fall for all we know – commodity prices and cash outflows are pointing to some real distress.”

Many experts think that if legislators in Washington, D.C. don’t do anything to help the economy improve at a faster rate, the Federal Reserve will be forced to step in

Sandra Pianalto, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, told the Wall Street Journal:

“Right now I feel that our accommodative monetary policy is appropriate given my outlook. I always want to balance the risks and costs of doing more. I have an outlook for inflation to remain close to our 2% objective through 2014. It’s important to take a balanced approach on what more we can do for broader economic growth. We need to make sure that we maintain our stable price objective so you have to balance those two objectives.”

Automation Can Improve Recruiting Process

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Do you have your hands on the resume of that promising candidate that came in last month? Are you buried in paper trying to wade through all those resumes and applications you have collected? Are you just crossing your fingers and hoping that the really sharp guy whose resume came too late for your last posting will respond to your new ad?

So how many job candidates have you lost because of an inefficient processing system in your personnel recruiting office?

Every business can probably point to cases where they have lost potential employees because of processing issues in their personnel management operations. HR staffs try to keep on top of things by keeping resume files on promising candidates and using resume files as a key sourcing tool when job vacancies arise.

Now there is a way to use technology to bring order and structure to your HR recruiting operation and make it more reliable and efficient. Check out PCRecruiter for more information on this.

“Hiring fundamentals that include a systematic process for hiring and consistent execution of the hiring process result in superior employee wins for your organization,” Susan M. Heathfield said in a post at

Putting an automated recruiting system to work in in your HR department will give you the tools you need to customize a systematic process for your hiring.

The right system will allow you to track and manage contacts, compile a searchable database of prospects, compile candidate profiles, collect required information from candidates, and put your application process online.

With the right systems in place to collect and organize information on your applicant pool, you will have a much better chance of attracting and recruiting the best candidates for your company.