Worst Month Since December 1974

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.

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If you’re looking to transition to a niche recruiting business, perhaps healthcare is where you should look. In contrast to most industries, healthcare added 34,000 jobs in November and has increased by 341,000 so far this year. According to BLS data, the November gain reflected jobs added in nursing and residential care facilities, hospitals, and physicians’ offices.

So, what’s your niche? If it’s not healthcare (or going to be healthcare one of these days), what is your speciality and how are you faring in the face of this recession?

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.


4 Comments on “Worst Month Since December 1974

  1. I switched my niche over to Healthcare and Medical about 5 months ago and I have to say that business is booming. The aging population of baby boomers combined with the retiring ranks of healthcare professionals at a pace faster than new grads can join into the candidate pool is driving a major boom. UMS Healthcare has opened 20 offices in the last year and has 10 more ready to go by Jan 09, we have over 650 hospitals with signed fee agreements in place and they are hiring. I can’t imagine anything being hotter than healthcare & medical right now or in the next few years.

    I’m looking forward to the Fordyce Forum in Vegas and plan to bring my team.

    Wishing everyone great success!

    Craig Silverman
    UMS Healthcare (Unlimited MedSearch)

  2. Hey Elaine
    We’re seeing across a broad spectrum of geographies strength in allied health care and home care whereas nursing has taken a hit as many hospitals are in a panic cost-cutting phase.

    Recessions though can make for a great time to start a staffing company provided you have the irrational exuberance to make it work as Craig seems to have proven.

    Gregg Dourgarian
    CEO, Tempworks Software

  3. My client portfolio is 80% growth stage software and internet technology companies (i.e. Saas, web 2.0, social networks, web portal, e-commerce etc) in Los Angeles, and I have experienced no drop off at all in requirements. These businesses are in a different situation because the majority were recently funded and the reason they were funded is to grow. That means hire! Furthermore, they are turning the slow economy into an advantage by hiring top talent laid off by larger companies. So they are actually using this time to upgrade their IT resources and will emerge fully stocked & loaded when the economy turns around. Finally, it doesn’t hurt having so much investment capital in their coffers that making a profit to stay alive is required. While healthcare may be a great recruiting niche to be working in, so are companies with an innovative-technology business model.

    Happy holidays to all!

    Kevin Jenkins

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