Trading Places

Inside views on the jobs market

Uncle Sam needs you! More than 270,000 of you


Out-of-work Americans pining for a bright spot amid the still-bleak unemployment landscape should welcome news that the federal government is in need of new recruits. A lot of them.

The feds need to hire close to 273,000 people over the next three years to fill so-called “mission-critical” jobs across the U.S. and abroad, in part because more federal workers are inching closer to retirement age, a new survey of 35 federal agencies by think-tank Partnership for Public Service shows.

Perhaps not surprisingly, agencies in the public health and medical fields are in need of the most new bodies. A total of 54,114 people are in demand to fill positions in areas ranging from radiology to consumer safety, according to the study.

Job seekers should also look to the security, law enforcement, legal and administrative fields, all of which are projected to boom over the next few years.

Unemployment jumps, but is the economy finding its floor?


Markets might have rallied on relief that the jobs data this morning wasn’t worse than expected, but there’s no getting away from the fact that an 8.5 percent unemployment rate is an ugly number. The March jobs figures showed U.S. employers slashed 663,000 jobs in March. The unemployment rate was the highest since 1983. Here is some reaction from the market:

“It’s telling you we’re in a deep recession and it’s still going to be a while to get out of it, especially on the employment side of things. But you have to keep in mind that this is a lagging indicator, we’re going to get bad employment numbers, along with the employment rate, even if the economy is starting to turn.”

from Shop Talk:

Free resumes from FedEx Office

resumeNeed we say more?

On March 10, the company that bought copy shop Kinko's will print 25 free resumes on high-quality paper when customers stop in at any of the 1,600-plus FedEx Office Print and Ship Centers in the United States.

"We understand that the economy has affected many people in a very profound way, and we want to help," Brian Philips, president and CEO of FedEx Office, told Reuters. "In January, nearly 600,000 people found themselves out of work. I understand that in February, by the time they add up the numbers, it could be worse."

U.S. jobless claims surge



By Alister Bull

WASHINGTON, Sept 25 (Reuters) – The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits jumped 32,000 last week, with all of the increase due to the impact of hurricanes Ike and Gustav, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits rose to a seasonally adjusted 493,000 in the week ended Sept 20 from a revised 461,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said. It was the highest reading since Sept. 29, 2001, in the aftermath of attacks on New York and Washington.

Trade the unemployment rate


Photo Go to Article  A line of job seekers stretches out of a hotel doorway as they wait to enter a job fair in Los Angeles, California July 23, 2008.

It might seem a safe bet that the number of people out of work in the U.S. will head higher in September following the job losses on Wall Street. But even if that’s the case, it won’t feed through to the unemployment rate immediately. That’s because to count as unemployed, respondents to a government survey of households who are out of work must say they have actively looked for work in the last four weeks. Alister Bull discussed the vagaries of the unemployment rate in this analysis.

There might be fewer economists on Wall Street to forecast the September number, but you can place a bet on whether the rate will rise from August’s five-year high of 6.1 percent via our news prediction game on Click on the live graph below to jump to the Reuters/Hubdub marketplace.