According to a recent report on MarketWatch.com, a financial information website and a subsidiary of Dow Jones & Company, our nation is continuing to experience record low unemployment rates. A study conducted by the site found the monthly average of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell to 212,250 – the lowest since December 1969. And our area has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country: The Mountain Area Workforce Development Board, a strategic planning board for workforce issues and needs in Western North Carolina, just reported that as of July, Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania Counties have an unemployment rate of 3.3%, the lowest in NC, with Buncombe County at 3.1% and Henderson County at 3.4%.
While this is great news for people who are unemployed and seeking work, it could be even better news for people who already have jobs. Why? Because extremely low unemployment rates mean you have a choice of jobs out there. Whether you’re seeking better hours, better benefits or a chance to launch a new career, now is the time to do it.
Deborah Pressley, who has worked at Friday Services for 30 years and serves as its VP and COO, has seen how fluctuating employment rates influence the decisions of companies when it comes to hiring and benefits packages. “A cycle of low unemployment usually means that companies will go the extra mile to retain the workforce they have and to entice new employees,” she says. “The companies we work with are currently offering everything from monthly catered events for their staff to paying 100% health insurance, to retention and referral bonuses for employees who work a certain amount of time for them. They want to sweeten the pot to fill positions and to keep employees.”
What does all of this mean for you? If you aren’t employed, it will most likely be easier not only to find a job, but to find one that offers what you want. And if you’re already employed and would like a change, now is the perfect time to make a career move. But don’t make a move without first making a plan. If you’re strategic and follow the steps below, you can make these record unemployment rates work in your favor and land a job that’s truly right for you.
First, create a “Most Wanted” list. What would you like out of a job? Better benefits? More pay? Working different hours? A better company culture? Go ahead and write down anything and everything, even if it seems far-fetched. Then, prioritize your list with your needs first and your wants second. (Yes, we’d all like an all-inclusive vacation to Bora Bora on the company’s dime, but even in today’s market, that’s probably not going to happen.) Does your family need a new car? Would you like treat your kids to a vacation to reward them for their hard work in school? List your top two or three needs or what’s most important to your family at the top of your paper.
Next, take a few minutes to spiff up your resume. Make sure you have your references and information up to date and that it’s free of typos. Even though the company may not have as many applicants as usual for a job, you’ll still want to present yourself as professionally as possible. Remember, when you walk in the door looking prepared for the job, the more likely a company will want to hire you – maybe even on the spot!
Lastly, be sure to research the companies that seem appealing to you. Here’s where staffing agencies like Friday’s can make your work a lot easier. You can end up spending a lot of time on the internet reading up on companies and submitting your resume, but even if you land an interview, it can still be hard to tell what a company is like. Friday’s has long-term relationships with reliable, local companies, and we can tell you everything you need to know about benefits, perks, bonuses, the culture of the company and how their management operates. Instead of spending hours of your own time reading online, making calls, and going to interviews, spend just a couple of hours at Friday’s and find the match that’s right for you.
Give Friday’s a call today at 864-684-8700 or take a look at our latest job opportunities at https://www.fridaycareers.com/jobs/. You can easily apply in seconds by clicking the “Apply Here” button on any job. Once you do, one of our staffing generalists will contact you and you’ll be on your way to finding a job you love!
By Shannon Quinn