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Jobs is a four-letter word

constructionThe four-letter word of 2009 continues to be “jobs” – or the lack thereof – and Friday’s employment situation report isn’t expected to change that.

Despite an economists’ consensus last month that the “worst recession since the Great Depression” is over, most households won’t buy it until we recoup the 7 million or so jobs lost in the economic abyss.

The 8:30 a.m. release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics gives us our national unemployment rate but is worth delving into more deeply for detailed jobless data sliced by various demographics.

Don’t wait until tomorrow to job your story-generating brain cells – scroll down to the bottom of the October report and peruse the supplemental tables for stats that are pertinent to your market.

One source of analysis I hadn’t previously been aware of is Quebec City, Canada-based Wanted Technologies, a consulting firm that forecasts hiring demand for business clients. They also produce a monthly prediction ahead of the employment situation report; it’s accessible on their Web site.

I’m not sure how accessible their U.S.-based jobs market analysts are but it’s worth a try. Regarding Friday’s report, they’re anticipating that October figures will reflect the loss of a mere 224,000 jobs, an improvement from 263,000 in September.

Other sources of comment on your local market include temporary staffing agencies (the smaller independents are more likely to be candid), economists at the Federal Reserve Bank that oversees your region, your state’s employment commission and economists or human resources faculty at area business schools.

Stock markets typically react to the updated unemployment rate, so brace for that.
More relevant to you is your reader’s reaction. It helps to balance out dismal updates with news they can use about local openings, job fairs and retraining programs.

And, check out this previous post with more ideas for localizing holiday hiring and other employment trends.

Looking ahead
After a barrage of economic data this week, take a breather, because next week’s round of cyclical reports is tame. Earnings reports are still flooding out, though, so be sure to check a financial calendar such as this one at Bloomberg for important releases in your realm.

Other reports expect next week include:
Nov. 12: Initial jobless claims
Nov. 13: University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment

In Basics, Beats, Careers and Jobs, Featured, Story ideas.

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