More Bad News: Employment Falling Like a Stone

Elaine wrote about today’s Employment Report for ERE’s sister publication, The Fordyce Letter, and there’s no other way to put it — it’s just awful across the board.

From her post:

Oh, what a month! The U.S. lost 533,000 jobs in November, the highest rate in 34 years (since 1974). This moves the nation’s unemployment rate to 6.7%; it was 6.5% in October.

According to fresh Labor Department data, economists had actually predicted a 6.8% unemployment rate for November — yet they only predicted that 320,000 jobs would be slashed.

Either way, this is bad news across the board: construction employment was down by 82,000 over the month; retail trade employment fell by 91,000 in November, with the largest job loss among automobile dealers (-24,000); and leisure and hospitality employment lost 76,000 jobs in November.

For me, the most disturbing part of the report was this:

Employment also declined throughout the service-providing
sector.  The largest loss (-101,000) was in employment services,
which includes temporary help agencies.  Employment services has
lost 495,000 jobs so far in 2008.

Employment is usually thought of as a lagging indicator of the economy — companies only slash jobs after they realize that sales are going south. But temporary help is more of an indicator of things to come, since it’s easier to adjust the number of temporary workers than it is to hire and lay off permanent employees.

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Buckle up, folks. This isn’t over, and it’s going to continue to be a wild ride.

ERE Media, Inc. CEO David Manaster continues to learn about recruiting every day. His first job in the profession was way back in 1997, and he founded ERE Media the following year. Today, David spends his time thinking up new ways that ERE can serve the recruiting community. You can follow David on Twitter or email him at david(at)


2 Comments on “More Bad News: Employment Falling Like a Stone

  1. A couple of things:

    1) We might try approaching companies with: “I/we can help you reduce your employment costs, so you can be more efficient while saving money.” What does that mean? It means whatever will get you in the door, Baby!

    2) Now might be a very good time to upgrade our skills toward high-touch, high value-add components that are still necessary- like relationship-building and closing. I believe that there will continue to be a need for high-paying quality recruiting. Unfortunately, that doesn’t any longer include the kind of work like being part of a team of lots of highly-paid recruiters who are looking on the boards, sourcing the internet, and scheduling interviews. That ship has sailed for ports unknown….

    Keith 415.586.8265

    “In the 21st century, everything changes and you gotta be ready!”
    – Captain Jack Harkness

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