Last week, news outlets reported an odd set of seemingly contradictory statistics: 163,000 jobs were added in the private sector, while 1.2 million jobs were lost. While the latter figure certainly sounds dire, it’s actually not. As WaPo scribe Brad Plummer explains, most of the jobs shed were “seasonal adjustments.” Plummer notes:
The U.S. economy follows certain predictable patterns in hiring and layoffs every year. School districts always let workers go for the summer and hire in the fall. Retailers always staff up for the Christmas holidays and lay people off afterwards. Students always flood the labor market in June.
Despite the pessimism and puzzlement of the news cycle, the smarter takeaway is this: those 163,000 new jobs were most likely skilled, professional positions, rather than the unskilled or seasonal labor that made up the bulk of the 1.2 million lost jobs. In short, the sky isn’t falling. In fact, the economy is slowly but demonstrably recovering, with certain sectors experiencing near boom-like growth.
And yet, a more puzzling number was released last week to very little fanfare: total online job ads fell by 153,600 in July. While some of these were certainly postings for part-time and seasonal help, the point remains: addition of jobs does not necessarily mean addition of job postings. So where do these jobs go? How do they get filled if they’re not being posted online? (Hint: they’re not going in the newspaper.)
The truth is that many job openings don’t get posted anywhere. Instead, they’re filled by referrals or word-of-mouth. In the coming weeks and months you can look forward to the Guns sending you tips and tricks for getting access to jobs that aren’t on the job boards. Stay tuned.