Career Expert Shares Recent Employment Trends

Career expert and Rasmussen College National Director of Career Development, Tamryn Hennessy, joins the Career Services Blog to discuss recent employment trends. In this interview, she will highlight what unemployment trends mean for the job seeker, areas of economic growth, and how this information can help job seekers pursue a prosperous and fulfilling career.


1. What is the current unemployment rate nationwide? How has this figure changed over the last year? What about over the last three years?

The current unemployment rate is 9.1 percent. This compares to a national rate of 9.8 percent at the same time last year (April 10 versus April 11).

Most striking is the difference education makes in the employment arena. Current unemployment for those with only high school degree is 9.7 percent, some college or Associate's degree is 7.5 percent and Bachelor's degree or higher is 4.5 percent, as cited in a recent press release I contributed to.

The unemployment rate in April 2010 had increased from 8.5 percent in March 2010 to 8.9 percent in April 2010.The unemployment rate in April 2009 had dropped to 5.0 percent, although the economy had been losing jobs throughout the year and there were early signs and predictions of trouble in the labor markets.

2.    What industries are you seeing a big influx in hiring?

Although all healthcare and nursing careers have been strong through the economic recovery, we are starting to see more hiring at hospitals versus ambulatory and residential care centers.

In the business sector, accounting continues to be a strong area of growth, as does internet marketing for those with marketing experience and relevant training.

Additionally, technology is certainly picking up leading to more competition and higher initial salaries amongst our Rasmussen students, in particular.

3.    How can people position themselves to be recession-proof as a job seeker?

I would recommend focusing on careers that match your interests that are projected to have great growth over the next ten years and get the most relevant education or continuing education in this area. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and other organizations do this type of forecasting. Be sure the program you study is responsive to industry needs and standards.

4.    What are the four most important traits a job seeker?

  • Positivity: Surround yourself with a job seeking support system to keep your energy level high and use each other as a resource.
  • Confidence: Employers can sense confidence (not over confidence) and will want to know you have a can-do attitude.
  • Willingness to Extensively and Strategically Network: Use the “black box” for information and leads and then get out and connect with spheres of influence that can get you to decision makers.
  • Organization: Across all industries, hiring managers seek this quality. Organization is not only paramount in your job hunting, but it’s also a key trait for productivity in any organization.

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