Unemployment Now at 7.6%

Who’s placing bets on unemployment hitting 8% by next month? With the way job statistics are headed, this might be a safe assumption.

After all, since the recession “officially” began in December 2007, 3.6 million jobs have been lost, with about half of the decrease occurring in the last three months.

Friday morning’s Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows continued, rapid declines overall. Employers eliminated 598,000 jobs in January, the most since the end of 1974.

But the BLS data does show some good news. So if you’re looking to develop a niche recruiting practice, consider the only two sectors that grew in January: healthcare employment (+19,000) or private education (+33,000).

Now, for the bad news (a.k.a., where not to  jump into a niche market)…employment fell and it fell big time in January. In a mere 31 days, our country lost the following job positions:

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The temporary help industry (-76,000); construction (-111,000); professional and technical services (-29,000); retail trade employment (-45,000); automobile dealerships (-14,000); building material and garden supply stores (-10,000); department stores (-9,000); furniture and home furnishing stores (-7,000); wholesale trade employment (-31,000); transportation and warehousing (-44,000); truck transportation (-25,000); support activities for transportation (-9,000); couriers and messengers (-4,000); financial activities (-42,000); securities, commodity contracts, and investments (-15,000); credit intermediation (-10,000).

So while it’s likely that unemployment may top 8% by next month, good luck finding anyone willing to place bets with their hard-earned, fast-dwindling cash.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.

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