Workplace Trends

4 Reasons To Kick Your Job Search Into High Gear During Summer

By Lee Hecht Harrison on June 4, 2012

The BLS’s latest “Employment Situation Summary” reports that nonfarm payroll employment rose by only a small margin (+69,000) in May 2012.  In addition, growth in April was revised down to +77,000.  The unemployment rate was virtually unchanged (8.2 percent) from April 2012.

The weak recovery may leave many job seekers discouraged and contemplating kicking back for the summer.  But while the numbers were disappointing, the pace of the recovery has been very steady — if moderate.  As we enter the summer months, it’s a good time to up reassess your job search strategy and take advantage of opportunities to increase your visibility, uncover positions and land that new role.  Here’s why summer is such a great time to kick your job search into high gear:

  • Increased opportunities for networking.  Outdoor social events increase over the summer, so it’s great time for face-to-face networking at community fairs, neighborhood barbeques, golf outings, kids’ baseball games and other activities.
  • Jobs are out there.  According to the May 2012 BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, there were 3.7 million open positions.  With many people putting their searches on hold during vacation season, you may face less competition.
  • Many companies have just set their budgets.  A wide range of organizations (including government and educational institutions) operate on a fiscal year that begins in July, so once the new budgets are released, hiring typically increases.
  • Schedules are lighter.  During the summer months, schedules may not be as tight and you may find individuals more willing to schedule brief meetings that will give you the increased visibility you need.

Which industries are hiring?

Employment increased in health care, transportation and warehousing, and wholesale trade but declined in construction (-28,000). Government registered a significant decrease in jobs (-13,000) from last month with the largest decreases in state and federal employment (-5,000 each). Employment changed slightly in most other major industries.

  • Healthcare and social assistance:  This category showed an increase in May (+33,000) with employment in ambulatory health care services, rising by 23,000 since April 2012.  Over the  past year, health care jobs have increased by 340,000.
  • Manufacturing: May figures indicate manufacturing employment rose by 12,000 with gains in fabricated metal products (+6,000), and primary metals (+4,000). Overall, since its low point in January 2010, durable goods manufacturing has added 495,000 jobs.
  • Professional and business services: Employment in this category was basically unchanged in May.  Although job losses were recorded in accounting and bookkeeping services (-14,000) and in services to buildings and dwellings (-14,000), small increases were registered in several categories, including computer systems design and related services (+1,586), management and technical consulting services (+1,944), employment services (+3,149) and temporary help services (+2,491).  Employment in professional and business services has grown by 1.4 million since the most recent low point in September 2009.
  • Transportation and warehousing: This category added 36,000 jobs since April 2012 with gains in transit and ground passenger transportation (+20,000) and in couriers and messengers (+5,000) followed job losses in those industries in April. Truck transportation added 7,000 jobs in May.
  • Wholesale trade: Employment in wholesale trade rose (+16,000) over the month with durable goods up +7,400 jobs and nondurable goods up +6,000. Wholesale trade in general has added +184,000 jobs since reaching an employment low in May 2010.

Source: BLS The Employment Situation

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